Annie Zaidi Wins International Nine Dots Prize
June 3, 2019
Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer of Mumbai, India, has won the Nine Dots Prize for her entry “Bread, Cement, Cactus,” which combines reporting and memoir to address themes of home and belonging in modern India. The Nine Dots Prize, an international writing contest aimed at recognizing original thinking on contemporary societal issues, awards $100,000 biannually to an individual author.
“The border is something of an actual bloodline. Partition along religious lines shattered the Indian Subcontinent and nobody is allowed to forget. The wound of millions being killed and displaced is scratched raw every few years. Three wars, constant accusations of cross-border infiltration and terrorist activity. India and Pakistan do not give each other tourist visas. I’ve had brows raised at the post office when I tried to send books to friends across the border,” writes Zaidi in “Bread, Cement, Cactus.” Her entry responded to the contest question: “Is there no place like home?”
“What really appealed to me about the Nine Dots Prize was the way it encourages entrants to think without borders or restraints. My work has often crossed over genres, traversing between memoir and journalism, and this timely but wide-open question encouraged us to approach it with methods that were equally far-ranging,” said Zaidi on her achievement.
Annie Zaidi began her writing career as a reporter for prominent magazines and newspapers such as Frontline and Mid-Day. She is the author of the novel Gulab, the essay collection Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, and Love Stories #1 to 14, a collection of short fiction.
Credit: Nine Dots Prize