Bangladeshi-born Tanwi Nandini wins $50,000 Kirkus Prize for non-fiction writing

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Tanwi Nandini Islam, of Bangladeshi origin, American fiction writer and perfumer, received the Kirkus prize of 50,000 dollars on Thursday October 27.

Her memoir “In Sensorium: Notes for My People” won the prize in the non-fiction category among six finalists for the 2022 Kirkus Nonfiction Prize.

According to the judges, Tanwi’s In Sensorium won for its audacity, inventiveness, vision and lyrical eloquence.

“Using the framework of scent and smell, the author’s work confronts aspects of our society related to women, gender, and people of color. Seductive, vital, and unmistakable, it is a reading experience which continues,” they said in a statement.

The winners of the ninth annual Kirkus Prize for Fiction, Nonfiction and Literature for Young Readers were announced at a ceremony at Austin’s Central Library, Kirkus Reviews.

The winners were chosen from the 1,436 books that received the coveted Kirkus star last year and were selected from a shortlist released last month. Each winner receives a cash prize of $50,000.

Hernan Diaz’s novel “Trust,” a postmodern take on wealth, power and reality set in the 1920s and 1930s, won the Kirkus Prize for Fiction.

Award judges cited Diaz for how “he uses multiple perspectives and forms to push the boundaries of what a novel can do”. “What seems to begin as a homage to Roaring 20s novels unfolds with each successive layer in a complex story of power, love and the nature of truth,” the judges said.

Harmony Becker’s Himawari House, a young adult graphic novel about foreign students, won the Kirkus Prize for Literature for Young Readers.

According to the judges, the book’s brilliance lies both in the authentic cultural specificity that grounds it and in Becker’s creative presentation that welcomes all readers.


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