Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

A medical doctor by profession, a writer by passion is what best describes Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar. Shekhar belongs to the ethnic sect of Santhal, one of India’s tribal groups, and this background is reflected in his fiction. He characterised his first novel ‘The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey’ as "the first full-fledged Santhal novel written in English, and published by a mainstream publisher". The book was shortlisted for the 2014 Hindu Literary Prize, the 2014 Crossword Book Award, longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award, and jointly won the 2015 Muse India Young Writer Award. It also won the Sahitya Academy Yuva Puraskar in 2015. The book was named by The Hindu in December 2019 as one of the ten best fiction books of the decade. Shekhar has written two novels for adults, including Rupi Baskey and My Father’s Garden (2018); one collection of short stories for adults, The Adivasi Will Not Dance; one novel for children, Jwala Kumar and the Gift of Fire: Adventures in Champakbagh (2018); and two picture books for children between 5 and 8, Who’s There? and Sumi Budhi and Sugi’, both published in 2020