Books

Novel on Apatani Tribe of Arunachal wins UK Award for Historical Fiction

apatani-novel_arunachal-pradesh

Stuart H Blackburn’s novel “Into the Hidden Valley”, explores the impact of the colonial history of British India on Apatani tribal settlement in Aruanchal Pradesh, has won the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016 in the UK.

The award was presented to the American author at the HNS Conference in Oxford. The novel dramatises the colonial encounter between the British and Northeast tribes. Many of the main events described in the novel are either true or based on true events.

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Blackburn revealed he first became interested in the Tibeto-Burman-speaking tribes of northeast India when he went to Arunachal Pradesh in 1999. He did various stints of research in the Apatani valley, recording oral stories and documenting ritual ceremonies.

 (This photograph from 1897 shows negotiations between British and Apatani tribal leaders, which is the ‘hidden valley’ of the novel. This was the first official colonial contact with the valley, which remains isolated even in modern India/ M M Bennetts Award)


(This photograph from 1897 shows negotiations between British and Apatani tribal leaders, which is the ‘hidden valley’ of the novel. This was the first official colonial contact with the valley, which remains isolated even in modern India/ M M Bennetts Photo)

He is also the author or editor of 16 books on Indian culture and folklore, mainly in south India and northeast India.

Currently, the novel is available on Amazon. It is also available from Speaking Tiger Books in New Delhi, who published the Indian edition.

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