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Novel on Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh wins MM Bennetts Award

Novel based on Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh titled Into the Hidden Valley has won 2016 MM Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction in the United Kingdom.

The novel is authored by Stuart Blackburn. He was presented with this award at the HNS Conference in Oxford.

Novel: Into the Hidden Valley

The novel looks into a little-known episode in the colonial history of British India. It brings alive the world of the Apatanis and portrays the impact of British colonialism. It dramatises the encounter by telling two stories, one of a British official and the other of a tribesman.

About Stuart Blackburn

  • He is the author. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • He has authored or edited 16 books on Indian culture and folklore, mainly in south India and northeast India. His first novel Murder in Melur was set in south India.
  • One of his book based on study of shadow puppet theatre in Kerala had won the runner-up prize for the UK Folklore Book of the Year.
  • He had completed his doctorate (PhD) in Tamil language and international folklore from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980.

About MM Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction

  • The prestigious literary award has been named in memory of writer-historian MM Bennetts.
  • MM Bennetts was a specialist in early 19th century British history and Napoleonic wars. Prior to writing novels Bennetts was a French translator.
  • He was also longstanding book critic for the Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper, ‘The Christian Science Monitor’.

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