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Three Indian American writers among 2017 O. Henry award winners

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Shruti Swami, Amit Majumdar and Jai Chakrabarti win the award, which is given to short stories of exceptional merit.

The 2017 O. Henry Awards were announced on Thursday and three Indian American writers made to the list of 20 winners.

The literary award, which was first presented in 1918 and funded by the Society of Arts and Sciences, is given to short stories of exceptional merit. The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories is an annual collection of the year’s twenty best stories published in US and Canadian magazines.

Indian American writers in the 99th winners’ list are Shruti Swami, Amit Majumdar and Jai Chakrabarti.

Swami, who was also in the last year’s list, won this year’s award with Prairie Schooner-published Night Garden. The San-Francisco resident was Vassar College’s 50th W.K Rose Fellow in 2012, and has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, and Willapa Bay AiR. She is a Kundiman Fiction Fellow and a 2017-2018 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose University.

Indian American nuclear radiologist Amit Majumdar, who is Ohio’s poet laureate, won the award for his short-story Secret Lives of the Detainees published by Kenyon Review. Majumdar grew up in Cleveland area and currently works as a diagnostic radiologist specializing in nuclear medicine practicing full-time in Columbus, where he lives with his family.

Majumdar’s poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Image, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, National Poetry Review, The New England Review, Smartish Pace, and The New Yorker.

Jai Chakrabarti won the award for A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness published by A Public Space. He is a 2015 “A Public Space Emerging Writer’s Fellow” and a graduate of the Brooklyn College MFA program. His previous works have appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Coffin Factory, Union Station, and A Public Space. Chakrabarti lives in Brooklyn with his family.

The winners’ list also includes celebrated Bangladeshi author Tahmima Anam, who writes from London and has been the recipient of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ prize.

This year’s O. Henry Prize Stories was edited by Laura Furman and it will appear in an eponymous anthology this September, from Anchor Books.