University assistant professor in Social Sciences at Yale NUS College, Singapore, is the first Indian author to win the Commonwealth short story prize, beating almost 4,000 entries for the 5,000 pound award, with the first short story he has ever written.
He was presented the Prize by Man Booker Prize Winner and former short story judge Marlon James, at the Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica.
Kulkarni’s winning story “Cow and Company” is a narrative set in India in the 1990s about 4 men who search for a cow to feature in an advertisement for chewing gum. He said he is happy to receive the Prize that provides an inclusive, accessible platform for participation that is particularly helpful for new writers. He works at the intersection of religion and political economy and has been trying to write for many years.
The Chair of the judging panel, Gillian Slovo said in ‘Cow and Company’ Parashar has conjured up a large cast and their way of life, simultaneously succeeding in exploring serious issues in a way that makes one laugh – and all of this in a few thousand words.
He has also won the British Academy Brian Barry Prize in Political Science for his research on religion, property rights and violence against women in colonial India.
‘Cow and Company’ had earlier been declared the winner from the Asia region.