- Top Quark, $1000: Namit Arora, Joothan: A Dalit's Life
- Strange Quark, $300: Edan Lepucki, Reading and Race: On Slavery in Fiction
- Charm Quark, $200: Elliot Colla, The Poetry of Revolt
Here is what Dr. Lalami had to say about them:
The finalists for this year’s 3QD prize write in very different genres, but they were
all very impressive, which made the task of choosing just three difficult indeed.
Here are my selections:
Namit Arora’s powerful review of Omprakash Valmiki’s Joothan: A Dalit’s Life for 3
Quarks Daily places this 1997 memoir in a personal, cultural, and literary context.
Arora gives a very moving portrayal of a kind of life I knew little about, an honest
reckoning of the privileges of his own upbringing, and a thoughtful analysis both of
Valmiki’s work in Hindi and its translation into English.
All too often, the subject of race is felt to be the sole purview of people of color—as if
white people were completely unaffected by racial history or reality. Edan Lepucki’s
candid piece for The Millions, in which she discusses her exposure to questions of
race and slavery through various novels, shows us how literature, which requires us
to have imaginative empathy, can also help us develop actual empathy.
Elliot Colla’s analysis of Egyptian revolutionary slogans for Jadaliyya is both
sensitive and original. In discussing how poetry is created, performed, and
remembered—not just right now in Tahrir Square, but also during earlier historical
periods—he reminds us that literature and life are not distinct or divergent spheres,
but indivisible aspects of the human experience.
Congratulations from 3QD to the winners (I will send the prize money later today or tomorrow–and remember, you must claim the money within one month from today–just send me an email). And feel free to leave your acceptance speech as a comment here! And thanks to everyone who participated. Thanks also, of course, to Laila Lalami for doing the final judging.
The three prize logos at the top of this post were designed, respectively, by Carla Goller, me and Sughra Raza. I hope the winners will display them with pride on their own blogs!
Details about the prize here.