Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 DNA-OUT of PRINT Short Fiction Winner and Finalists

DNA-OUT of PRINT Short Fiction: The Winners

The entries for this year’s DNA-OUT of PRINT short fiction special were exceptionally strong and we had a difficult time narrowing down the lists at every stage of the reading. We are thrilled to announce the final four stories of the feature.

The stories on the final list not only have remarkable inherent merit but also, approach the theme of this year’s feature, Dissent, in different and interesting ways. In bhavani’s A Fragrance That Could Have Been, dissent is woven through the narrative: a child rebels, society does not follow quotidian rules, and the system is challenged as a sensitive young woman attempts to mentor across societal divides. R K Biswas’ The Rabbit, a story of rebellion, guilt and reckoning is skilfully worked around a father-son thread; memories and sentiments are brought to the fore by the manifestation of a rabbit from the past. Zui Kumar-Reddy the winner of the 2015 feature has the most direct approach to the theme in her 1977; dedicated to her grandmother, the iconic Snehalatha Reddy, and referencing the Emergency, the story examines the meaning and the repercussions of political dissent from a deeply personal space. Karthik Shankar’s Appa’s Scooter looks at the perturbations that tear at the fibre of a conventional family when one among them expresses their identity with uncompromising clarity. A trans grandson, an insular neighbourhood, and a neglected scooter drive this story.

Other stories stand out: Shabnam Nadiya’s Spin, a delicately rendered study of the tough moment when the seed of dissent is planted; Trisha Bora’s The Guests, with its subtle, personal complexities of multiple rebellions; Kulpreet Yadav’s story of a wild and symbolically bloody breaking free…. We are tempted to list every story on the shortlist … and many more. We thank every author who sent in a story, and congratulate the ones whose stories have been chosen for publication. 

R K Biswas
Zui Kumar-Reddy
Karthik Shankar

Judges: Out of Print editors, Ram Sadasiv, Leela Levitt, Indira Chandrasekhar

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