Pakistani author's book on Qandeel Baloch shortlisted for Indian literary prize

Published: August 9, 2018
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The story of the slain social media star Qandeel Baloch, written by journalist and author Sanam Maher has been shortlisted for an Indian book prize 2018.

The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch has been selected for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize this year. Taking to Twitter, Maher ecstatically shared the news and wrote, “Some fantastic news to start the day off – The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch is shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize this year!”

The winner of the book prize will be awarded INR200,000 and a trophy. The winner will be announced in November.

According to Shakti Bhatt Foundation’s social media account, the submissions for the book prize were in the following genres: poetry, fiction, graphic novels, creative non-fiction (travel writing, autobiography, biography and narrative journalism), and drama.

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

Another condition for entries was that the books must be published in India. Publications must be in English or translated into English from an Indian language.

The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch, the book has been tipped as one of the most-awaited reads.

Speaking to The Express Tribune earlier, Maher reflects on the rise of Qandeel, the unfortunate end to her life and a glimpse into how she was perceived in life and in death.

The author revealed, “This book is my attempt at telling the story of a place and people who celebrate a woman like Qandeel, but also praise the brother who murdered her.”

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

Maher started the research for the book by watching and reading everything Qandeel ever did or said – any interview, social media post, TV appearance, acting or modeling assignments.

The author met people who knew Qandeel – people who had worked with her, those who loved her and those who hated or trolled her. The officials who were working on Qandeel’s case have given their perspective as well.

Most of the research for the book was done in Multan, DG Khan and Shah Sadrin while the remainder in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch was released earlier this year.

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