Kathmandu, November 1
The British Academy has declared Indian- born author Nadini Das as the winner of the 11th British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding for her book titled ‘Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire’
The U.K.-based academic’s debut work was revealed as the winner of British Academy Book Prize 2023 during a ceremony held at the British Academy in London on Tuesday evening.
The book tells the story of England’s first diplomatic mission to India in the early 1600s, through a combination of biography and historical narrative, alternating microscopic details with broader panorama.
“By using contemporary sources by Indian and British political figures, officials and merchants she has given the story an unparalleled immediacy that brings to life these early encounters and the misunderstandings that sometimes threatened to wreck the whole endeavour,” said Professor Charles Tripp, Chair of the prize jury.
“At the same time, she grants us a privileged vantage point from which we can appreciate how a measure of mutual understanding did begin to emerge, even though it was vulnerable to the ups and downs of Mughal politics and to the restless ambitions of the British.” Prof. Tripp added.
Award recipient Nadini Das will receive £ 25,000 while each of the shortlisted writers will receive £1,000.
The 2023 judging panel for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding included of Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed FBA, Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics; Professor Rebecca Earle, food historian and Professor of History at the University of Warwick; Fatima Manji, award-winning broadcaster; and Professor Gary Younge Hon, the award-winning author, broadcaster and Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester.
Every year since 2013, the British Academy has been awarding its £25,000 non- fiction book prize to a literary work that searches for truth and reason in difficult places, and shines a light on the connections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide.