Prof. David Dabydeen wins 2004 Raja Rao Award for Literature
Guyana Chronicle
June 8, 2004

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GINA -- GUYANESE David Dabydeen, writer and Professor of Caribbean Literature at the University of Warwick, has been awarded the 2004 Raja Rao Award for Literature.

The prize was instituted in 2000 by the Samvad India Foundation to honour and recognize writers who have made "an outstanding contribution to the Literature of the South Asia Diaspora."

A release from the Administrator of the Centre for Caribbean Studies, Majorie Davies, says the award ceremony will take place at the University of Hyderabad, India, in August, in the presence of hundreds of members of the Association for Commonwealth Languages and Literature Studies.

Previous winners include K.S. Manian, the eminent Malaysian writer; Yasmine Gooneratne, the Sri Lankan born novelist; and Edwin Thumboo, the poet laureate of Singapore and 'father figure' of Singapore Literature.

A disciple and biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, Raja Rao is widely acknowledged as one of India 's greatest writer-philosophers. His best known work in English is The Serpent and the Rope, a modern rendering of Mahabharata legends and a dramatization of the relationship between Indian and Western culture.

Prof. David Dabydeen is also a recipient of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. His new novel, Our Lady of Demerara, is to be published next month. Previous fiction includes The Counting House (1997), a novel on Indian indentureship, which was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Prize.