The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch which was released earlier this year, tells the story of the 26-year-old model, Fauzia Azeem aka Qandeel Baloch, who was dubbed Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian. She was murdered for the family’s honour by her brother in 2016.
The prize is a cash award of INR200,000 and a trophy and judges would chose the winner in November.
Sanam Maher the rightful owner of this book has been shortlisted alongside five other authors, including Preti Taneja (We That Are Young), Sujatha Gidla (Ants Among Elephants), Deepak Unnikrishnan (Temporary People), Aanchal Malhotra (Remnants of a Separation) and Shreevatsa Nevatia (How to Travel Light).
In the nomination announcement, Maher’s Qandeel Baloch is described as “a testimony to the short, incandescent and courageous life of this Pakistani social media personality, murdered for the family’s honour by her brother. Through the story of Qandeel’s life and death, Maher shows us what it means to be a woman who defies convention in a patriarchal society.”
Maher posted on Twitter, “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!”
According to the Shakhti Bhatt’s official Facebook page, this year’s list of authors and books are, “those who remind us of the essential humanity that we all share, however different the other may look or feel or behave.