March 2, 2020

PRESS RELEASE
TWO SPEAKING TIGER TITLES IN THE SHORTLIST FOR AUTHER AWARDS 2020
2nd March 2020, New Delhi:

Speaking Tiger is proud to announce that Shubha Mudgal’s Looking for Miss Sargam: Stories of Music and Misadventure and Bijal Vachharajani’s A Cloud Called Bhura: Climate Champions to the Rescue have been shortlisted for AutHer Awards 2020 in the following categories:

BEST AUTHOR – DEBUT
Looking for Miss Sargam by Shubha Mudgal
After thousands of hours of training and practice, the gods of music smile upon the deserving few. Genius shines; melody and goodness reign supreme; and all is right with the world. Or is it? What happens, for instance, when a cunning PR brain brings together two star musicians from India and Pakistan in a concert for peace? Or when a small town music teacher and a big-city businessman team up to plan a hunt for India’s best new classical talent—and make a few crores in the process? Or when a Bollywood director calls a classical singer, offering to make her a sensation, like the mysterious Miss Sargam whom no one hears anymore but everyone remembers?

In this, her debut work of fiction, one of India’s finest and most original musicians has produced a sparkling collection—utterly distinctive, hugely entertaining and mercilessly funny.

A widely acclaimed singer, Shubha Mudgal has been a student, performer, teacher, composer and columnist for several decades. She has specialized in the Hindustani classical genres of khayal and thumri-dadra, and her involvement with popular Indian music and Indipop tracks has also been widely recognized. She is the recipient of several national and international awards for her musical accomplishments.

BEST AUTHOR – CHILDREN
A Cloud Called Bhura by Bijal Vachharajani
Amni wakes up one morning to find the sky taken over by a huge brown cloud. Where did this cloud appear from suddenly? Even as she and her friends Mithil, Tammy and Andrew start finding out more, their city of Mumbai starts reeling from the changes the cloud brings to the weather. Bhura Cloudus, as the media calls it, contains noxious gases, causes scalding rain to fall, makes birds flee the city, and suffocates every living thing. Can Vidisha and Bidisha, the scientist twins, find a solution? And what about superstar Pavan Kumar and the amazing cloud-sucking machine? Can Bhura ever be driven away, or is it already too late?

Thought-provoking, funny and inspiring, this book is about the changing global climate and the havoc it can cause, as well as the forces of friendship, trust and community that give hope and will help counter this deadly threat to humanity.

Bijal Vachharajani is Editor Scissorhands at Pratham Books. A journalist, Bijal is the author of three children’s books, So You Want to Know About the Environment, What’s Neema Eating Today? and The Seed Savers. Bijal has a Masters in Environment Security and Peace from the University of Peace in Costa Rica, and is now a certified climate worrier

The AutHer Awards – a joint venture between JK Paper and Times of India — are a celebration of women authors who have added value and creativity to the literary space. The award categories are: Best Author – Fiction, Best Author – Non-fiction, Best Author – Debut, Best Author – Children and Popular Choice Award. The chairs for the AutHer Awards jury consisted of author Ashwin Sanghi (Fiction), actor and author Sonali Bendre (Non-Fiction), columnist and author Shobhaa De (Debut), and author Bulbul Sharma (Children’s books) and other jury members.

The winners will be awarded at a ceremony in New Delhi on 8 March 2020.

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