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Image of Zubair Ahmed (below): photo by Amarjit Singh Chandan.


$25,000 Punjabi Literature Prize-Winner Announced:
Avtar Singh Billing





After receiving over 70 eligible entries from five different countries, the winner of the inaugural Cdn $ 25,000 Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature is Avtar Singh Billing's novel, “Khaali Khoohaan di Kathaa” (The Story of Empty Wells).

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, The Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature aims to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale.

The prize winners will be honoured at a literary gala on October 25, 2014 at University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology.

"I feel happy and lucky to be the first author to win the prestigious, inaugural Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature," said Avtar Singh. "I feel proud that the Punjabi literary world found my sixth novel worthy of this honour."

The Dhahan Prize awards $25,000 annually to one best book in fiction published in either of the two Punjabi scripts, Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi.

The $5,000 runner-up prize winners for 2014 are Jasbir Singh Bhullar from Punjab for his book of short stories, “Ik Raat da Samunder,” (The Ocean of One Night) and Pakistan-based Zubair Ahmed for his book, “Kabooter, Banairy te Galiaan” (Of Pigeons, Boundaries and Laneways).

The prize is funded by an endowment from Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends.

On Friday, October 24, 2014, the Dhahan Prize will host a free public reading in Surrey, British Columbia, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., followed by a reception. Prize-winners will read from their winning books in Punjabi, with translations in English.

The next day, on Saturday, October 25, the winners of the Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature will be honoured at a gala reception at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

[Courtesy: Asian Pacific Post. Edited for]
October 19, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Roop Dhillon (Reigate, United Kingdom), October 23, 2014, 5:35 AM.

Excellent. Hopefully Punjabi will be taken seriously ... by the Punjabis themselves.

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Avtar Singh Billing "

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