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Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize announced the Longlist for 2018

New Delhi, November 30th, 2017: Instituted in March 2015 by Oxford Bookstore, the ‘Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize’ announced the much awaited longlist of its third edition at a literary gathering hosted by Priti Paul. The longlist 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 and Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group and the creative force behind the Oxford Bookstore chain. The Shortlist will be announced at Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival scheduled from 11th to 15th January 2018 and the winner will be announced at Jaipur Book Mark of Jaipur Literature Festival 25th to 29th January 2018.

The evening also presented a session on Visual Language: Judging Books by their Covers with speakers Alka Pande and Sanjoy Roy.

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, Pinaki De for the book Kalkatta authored by Kunal Basu, published by Picador India.

To maintain continuity and build strong foundations for the prize, the 2018 award has retained the distinguished jury from year one. Each of the jury members is preeminent in their respective fields and they share a collective love for books and commitment to reading.

The varied interests of these eminent jurors helped create a rich and diverse perspective for the selected longlist. The shortlist of the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize’s third edition will be announced at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival in January 2018, post which the shortlisted book covers will thereafter be displayed in the Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place.

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.”

Mr. Sanjoy Roy said “Never judge a book by its cover is an old adage! Today as books compete for space in a visual medium the ubiquitous book cover is beginning to resemble a work of art! It has to be representative of the idea contained in the book as well as sell a million copies! Artists have come into their own in India and the annual Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize celebrates them!”

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.

#The longlist of 16 titles with details of their designers, authors and publishers is attached herewith.




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.


Sanjoy K. Roy is the Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, which produces over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across 40 cities in countries such as Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and USA, and includes the world’s largest literary gathering — the annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. He is a founder trustee of Salaam Baalak Trust working to provide support services for street and working children in the inner city of Delhi where over 55,000 children have benefitted from education, training and residential services over the past years. The White House recently presented him the US President’s Committee of Arts and Humanities Award for an International Organisation. He is an advisor for the arts and diversity for numerous government and non-governmental organisations across the world.


Established in 1919, Oxford Bookstore is the best equipped 'base-camp' for journeys of the mind offering its customers the widest range of outstanding titles and consistently courteous and informed service for close to a century. Today, with stores in major metros, India’s first dedicated Children’s bookstore, Oxford Junior, India’s first of its kind tea boutique, Cha Bar, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, literary platforms like Hindi Mahotsav and Language Symposium, Oxford Bookstore offers booklovers access to the very best in publishing enhanced by a variety of events which salute books, visual & performing arts and celebrate the word. Oxford Bookstore measures its success by the smiles on millions of happy customers that the brand has served over the last nearly 100 years. There are a few treats as sumptuous as a visit to Oxford Bookstore in India. Each time you walk into our iconic store in Kolkata where the brand started in 1919, its charm leaves you wanting for more. Our fleet of happy to help expert booksellers and informed hosts work day and night to bring to customers world class reading experience be it through our books or our fine teas and live by the brand’s motto - Much more than a bookstore – at every Bookstore. In December 2012 Oxford Bookstore took a chapter from its growth story in India by launching Katakali, its first overseas bookstore in the luxurious Sahara Palace at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the exclusive palm-filled oasis of the Palmeraie, Marakkech. In April 2013, with the opening of its most architecturally crafted retail store in a stunning new destination in Delhi’s historic centre, Connaught Place, Oxford Bookstore carved out yet another incredible space for quiet browsing, reading and contemplation. Its growth story continues. For more information, please also log on to: www.oxfordbookstore.com



In 2014, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival had an idea: to create a B2B platform running in parallel with the festival. In the 4 years since its inception, it is fast emerging as a nerve centre for the South Asian publishing industry. Jaipur BookMark (JBM) brings together stakeholders of the book trade from across the world – publishers, literary agents, writers, translators, translation agencies and book sellers. It gives them an opportunity not just to ‘’talk business” through relevant sessions and focused roundtables; but also provides the right and fruitful atmosphere to inspire conversations and a space for one-on-one meetings and networking. This intimacy forges relationships and allows the occasional contract to be signed too. JBM is the ultimate South Asian book conclave which provides an “edge” of opportunities to those in the publishing industry on the lookout for new ideas and collaborations.

For more information visit: http://jaipurbookmark.org


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