Journalist And Author Raghu Karnad Wins $165,000 Yale University's Windham-Campbell Prize

Indian writer and journalist Raghu Karnad has won Yale University’s Windham-Campbell prize under non-fiction category for his work Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War.

He is one of eight recipients of the prestigious award handed out by Yale University to English language writers from around the world. Each winner receives $165,000 to support their writing. 

Karnad, son of noted Indian actor, director and Kannada writer Girish Karnad, is currently the Chief of Bureau of The Wire.

The book was earlier shortlisted for the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for 2016, and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for a writer in English the same year.

The book narrates the story of three men from the same family, serving in the Indian army during World War II. The book spans various parts of the world including Singapore, Eritrea, Libya, El Alamein, Basra, Arakan and Imphal.

"It's been a week and I've just about managed to accept that this is real and not the result of a mistaken autocorrect prompt. I wrote my book without any certainty that it would even find a publisher outside of India. To have it recognized like this - and placed in the company of others that were my inspirations - feels less like an achievement than a fantastical dream", Karnad was quoted as saying in newsreports.  

He studied at Swarthmore College and at Oxford. He has served as the editor of Time Out magazine in New Delhi and his writings have appeared in Financial Times, Caravan Magazine, The Guardian, and The New Yorker among other publications. 

The Windham-Campbell Prizes are administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which houses the Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell papers.

Since the prize’s inception, 59 writers representing 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America have won the prize.

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