July Issue 2019
Banking on Books
The UBL Literary Awards 2019 held at the Movenpick Hotel on June 15, were attended by literary giants, renowned figures from Pakistan’s publishing industry and TV celebs. Over 130 entries by local authors, published in 2017 and 2018, were received as nominations for awards in the seven categories: Urdu Fiction, Urdu Non-fiction, Urdu Poetry, Translation into Urdu, Children’s Urdu Literature, English Non-fiction and Children’s English Literature.
The esteemed panel of judges included literary powerhouses Asghar Nadeem Syed, Dr Asif Farrukhi, Ghazi Salahuddin, Dr Arfa Syeda and Kishwar Naheed, who shortlisted the winners. The UBL Literary Awards have been held every year since 2011, with the eighth instalment being the most grandiose. “UBL is trying to ensure that the awards grow bigger and bigger. We’re trying to promote indigenous talent,” said Raza Haider, Head of Corporate Affairs at UBL.
“We want to showcase Pakistani writers who have their books published in Pakistan, not out of Pakistan, so their work is appreciated. As an organisation with a sustainability agenda, our resources and capabilities are geared towards promoting education, by supporting the growth and development of literature, as an extension of literacy.”
The literary awards showcase Pakistan’s talent, and also function as an opportunity for people in the publishing and literary fields to mingle and network.
The late renowned humourist Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi was a former president of the UBL; Anwar Maqsood is also a former employee, hence seems fitting that the UBL would task itself with the project of supporting literature with targeted marketing and prolific awards shows.
“There is a dearth of good literary work, in spite of the enormous talent in this country, and readers are fewer in number as well. People who are writers, poets, literary giants need to be supported, as they do not have the resources to publish their own works. It’s up to good organisations to support and facilitate them,” said Ejaz Wasay, a former organiser of the first UBL Literary Awards.
The list of award-winners is as follows:
Urdu Fiction: Jindar by Akhtar Raza Salimi
Urdu Non-Fiction: Us Ko Ik Shakhs Samajhna Tou Munasib Nahin by Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar
Urdu Poetry: Tum Kabeer by Fahmida Riaz
Translation into Urdu: Dur Uftada Shehr Say Aik Taveel Nazam by Munawar Hussain
Children’s Urdu Literature: Nazmein, Pahelian Aur Nasr Paray by Shanul Haq Haqqi
English Non-Fiction: The Faltering State by Tariq Khosa
Children’s English Literature: Partition by Amina Azfar