It was earlier this year that author Sanam Maher launched her book based on the life of Pakistan’s most controversial social media star, Qandeel Baloch. After getting rave reviews, The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch has been shortlisted for an Indian book prize 2018.
The author took to social media to announce the news. “Some fantastic news to start the day off - The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch (@AlephBookCo) is shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize this year,” she wrote on her official Twitter handle.
According to the Shakti Bhatt Foundation’s social media account, the biography is “a testimony to the short, incandescent and courageous life of this Pakistani social media personality, murdered for the family’s honour by her brother. Through the story of Qandeel’s life and death, Maher shows us what it means to be a woman who defies convention in a patriarchal society.”
The book has been shortlisted alongside five other titles (all six are by debutantes), including Preti Taneja’s We That Are Young, Sujatha Gidla’s Ants Among Elephants, Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People, Aanchal Malhotra’s Remnants of a Separation and Shreevatsa Nevatia’s How to Travel Light for the Shakti Bhatt Prize. The winner will be awarded INR 200,000 and a trophy.
The First Book Prize was set up by the Shakti Bhatt Foundation in 2008 to encourage authors from the sub-continent. Submissions for this year’s book prize were in the following genres: poetry, fiction, graphic novels, creative non-fiction (travel writing, autobiography, biography and narrative journalism) and drama.