Recognition for the Awards:

“Before the award, I was known as ‘a leading writer from Kerala’ or ‘a leading Malayali writer’. When I won the Crossword Book Award in 1999, the press qualified me as ‘a leading Indian writer’. Yes, this is what the award means to me. All of a sudden, it transforms a regional writer like me into a national writer. The Crossword Book Award gives us writers a new identity and an unflinching self-confidence. Bravo!”

- M. Mukundan, winner of the 2006 Indian Language Fiction Translation Award for ‘Kesavan’s Lamentations’

“Winning the Crossword Book Award was one of the high points of my writing life and the reason for that is that there is no Award like the Crossword Award…The thing about the Crossword Award is that we know who the jury is, we may not know before hand, but we do see afterwards. These are our peers and there’s something spectacularly wonderful about being judged by your peers. For me, it was deeply moving; it meant more to me than any other Award I’ve received.”

-Amitav Ghosh, winner of the 2004 English Fiction prize for ‘The Hungry Tide’

“Contrary to popular opinion, Crossword hasn’t quite provided an Indian Booker. Instead, it has gone one better – demonstrated that there’s enough good literature coming out of the country for us to have our own derby without looking longingly towards a western field of dreams.”

-Nilanjana Roy, Business Standard

“While any talk of literary awards, especially Indian writing in English, eventually leads to Bookers, Whitbread’s and Pulitzers — in spite of our very own Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards — Vodafone Crossword Book Award is slowly but surely gaining prominence as a veritable Indian version of the Booker prize. In fact, many Indian authors are appreciating this as a gesture of Indian books being lauded by Indians. Essentially, this is what the Vodafone Crossword Book Award aims to do. Instituted in 1998, it wants to compete with the biggies. In fact, it's already out to give the other awards some serious competition”

-‘Naipaul, Rushdie in Indian Booker race’, CNN-IBN (, 18th January 2006.