The Bhopal Literature and Art Festival on Wednesday named writer Namita Gokhale as the winner of the inaugural Sushila Devi Literature Award for her novel, Things To Leave Behind. The prize will be awarded during the first edition of the three-day long Bhopal Literature and Art Festival that begins on January 12 at Bharat Bhawan.
The newly-instituted award recognises the best work of fiction by a woman author and comes with a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh. Books published in 2016 and 2017 were eligible for this year’s prize.
Gokhale, who is also the co-founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival, won for her historical novel set in the mountains of Kumaon during the 1857 uprising against British rule. Capturing a period of change and uncertainty, Things To Leave Behind draws on themes of colonialism, caste and culture and tells the story of young Tilottama Dutt and her daughter, Deoki.
The novel was previously shortlisted for the Crossword Jury Book Awards.