From the Announcement at PAPERCUT .
We would like to thank all the writers who participated in the Desi Writers Lounge short story competition 2012. The volume and quality of the stories we received defied our expectations, and it was not an easy task to sort through them to select the winners. The stories covered a wide variety of subjects such as human psyche, relationships, exile, communal riots and even cyborgs.
A panel of three judges carefully read the short stories, examining them for language, originality, structure, theme, overall impact and execution. After several rounds of shortlisting, they were finally able to narrow down on three stories that stood out because of their excellent prose and execution.
Suneetha Balakrishnan writes in and translates into English and Malayalam. Her latest publication is the Malayalam translation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. She is an independent journalist by profession and works from her home in Trivandrum, India. Her debut novel, set in her paradoxical home region, Kerala, awaits a publisher.
Judges’ note: Balakrishnan’s story impresses with its unassuming eloquence. Her voice is authentic and she never trespasses on the narrative — letting events unfold at their own pace with minimal exposition. The world of The Inauguration is wonderfully rich in visuals and politics and Balakrishnan knows that all she needs to do is walk the reader through it, saying, “Look around you.” The result is an almost cinematic reading experience.