Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize Shortlist Announced at Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2018

Kolkata, January 11, 2018: Instituted in March 2015 by Oxford Bookstore, the ‘Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize’ announced the much awaited shortlist of its third edition at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival held in Kolkata. The shortlist has been chosen by the distinguished jury comprising of Aman Nath, India’s first heritage hotelier, architectural restorer & owner of some of the most beautiful properties, Alka Pande, leading art critic and curator, Dayanita Singh, one of the most important figures in contemporary Indian photography and bookmaking, Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group and the creative force behind the Oxford Bookstore chain and Guest Jury, renowned artist, Jagannath Panda. The varied interests of these eminent jurors helped create a rich and diverse perspective for the selected shortlist. A list of 16 book covers which made it to the longlist were once again looked into for a final shortlisted selection 7 book covers for the announcement at AKLF.

The evening also witnessed a talk session titled “Cover to Cover” on “Importance of a Book Cover Behind Best Sellers” with Alka Pande and Dayanita Singh followed by a special journey through Satyajit Ray’s book cover designs by Debasis Mukhopadhyay.

The winner of the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize’s third edition will be announced at Jaipur Book Mark of Jaipur Literature Festival on 25th January 2018.

In its first year, the prize was given to designer, Bena Sareen for the book, Talking of Justice by late author, Leila Seth, published by Aleph followed by designer for the second year Pinaki De was declared winner for book Kalkatta authored by Kunal Basu, published by Picador India.

Talking about the prize, Ms. Priti Paul said “I believe a great book deserves a great design.  A well designed cover will instantly convey the essence of the book, giving form to content- and so fulfilling its responsibility to the reader, publisher, retailer and above all the authors. We at Oxford Bookstore value creativity and design highly and have instituted this award, to encourage and applaud the work of our young graphic designers and artists in Book Cover Design.”

The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize is a first-of-its-kind honor for splendour in book design, and an endeavor by an iconic bookstore to perceive and empower the phenomenal work of artists, designers and distributors crosswise over India. The new prize acknowledges the significance of the adjust of illustrations and story, especially in our undeniably visual age, and trusts that a book cover translates and interprets the resulting content in critical ways that add to its definitive achievement. Under the guidance of Ms. Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group, Oxford Bookstores has been pushing all boundaries to encourage the publishing industry and celebrate the business of books. Standout cover design is an integral part of the success of a book, designers and illustrators play a vital role in helping a book become emblematic and create recall.



  1. Title: Achanak Ek Kavita

      Author: Vishwajeet

      Designer: Mugdha Sadhwani – Gloworm Creations

      Publisher: Yatra Books


  1. Title: Akbar

     Author: Shazi Zaman

     Designer: Puja Ahuja

     Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan


  1. Title: Himalaya

    Author: Ruskin Bond, Namita Gokhale

    Designer: Maithili Doshi Aphale

    Publisher: Speaking Tiger


  1. Title: The House That Spoke

  Author: Zuni Chopra

  Designer: Devangana Dash

  Publisher: Penguin Books


  1. Title: Indica – A Deep Natural History Of The Indian Subcontinent

   Author: Pranay Lal

   Designer: Gunjan Ahlawat

   Publisher: Penguin Allen Lane


  1. Title: Walking with Nanak

   Author: Haroon Khalid

   Designer: Haitenlo Semy

   Publisher: Westland Publications Ltd


  1. Title: White Crane, lend me your wings

   Author: Tsewng Yishey Pemba

   Designer: Misha Oberoi

   Publisher: Niyogi Books



Alka Pande

Alka Pande trained as an art historian and has written prolifically on Indology and Art History. She is the author of several books with a special interest in gender and sexuality; her PhD thesis was on the theme of Ardhanarisvara. She has written extensively on erotic Indian Literature and art as well. She was awarded the Chevalier dans l ordre des Art et des Lettres in 2006 by the French government. In 2009, she received the Australian Asia Council Special Award. Alka Pande is an independent curator and is currently working as an art consultant for India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh is a photographer whose primary format is the book. She studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York City. She has published twelve books so far.

Singh’s art reflects and expands on the ways in which people relate to photographic images. Her recent works, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, are a series of mobile museums that allow her images to be endlessly edited, sequenced, archived and displayed. Stemming from her interest in the archive, the museums present her photographs as interconnected bodies of work that are full of both poetic and narrative possibilities. Publishing is also a significant part of Singh’s practice. She has created multiple “book-objects” – works that are concurrently books, art objects, exhibitions, and catalogues – often with the publisher Steidl.

Singh was awarded the Prince Claus Awards in 2008. In 2013, she became the first Indian to have a solo show at London’s Hayward Gallery.

Debasis Mukhopadhyay

Debasis Mukhopadhyay worked as a senior librarian for 35 years in a Bengali daily ‘Aajkaal’.  He is a historian, researcher and a bibliophile. His research interest include local history, Bengali food history, Bengali books design etc. He is also a renowned Satyajit Ray scholar.  Ray himself used to call him as a ‘compendium of my works’.  He is an author of 9 books on different subjects.

Welcome to Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival  2018!

The internationally renowned and eagerly awaited Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) welcomes you back to the St Paul’s Cathedral lawns. A non-profit initiative free for everyone, AKLF is the only literary festival to have emerged from a bookstore – the iconic 98 year old Oxford Bookstore. The upcoming 9th edition of AKLF is poised to scale new heights, with a meticulously curated programme, bringing the world – and the nation – to Kolkata. Speakers from across the globe – from Australia, UK, Scotland, France, Germany, Haiti and more – join eminent novelists, filmmakers, artists, poets, and social commentators to bring you a heady mix of literature, arts and current affairs. This year we collaborate with Bonjour India, the prestigious French initiative across Literature and the Arts, as well as leading international festivals, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Henley Literary Festival, to present exciting programmes; and reaffirm our link with the Jaipur Literature Festival through our exclusive Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize. We offer a bigger and better Oxford Junior Literary Festival (OJLF) for young readers; announce a major new award for emerging women writers; bring you an array of India’s top poets at Poetry Café; and introduce Mind Your Own Business, a B2B segment for students and young professionals. Come join us!

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