23 June, 2021

Siddhartha Gigoo

The writer on winning the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Siddhartha Gigoo

You are the first Indian to win the Commonwealth Short Story Prize after three years.

This is also a win for the genre of literary short fiction. It is three years of short story submissions finally paying off.

What does the win mean to you?

The Commonwealth Prize for The Umbrella Man means my worry of ‘no one will be interes­ted in what I write’ falling through.

Tell us about The Umbrella Man.

It came to me last summer. I wrote about a man and his only friend—the umbrella. I tried to imagine him but failed. He is an asylum inmate who yearns for rain, until one day he is set free.

Why did you choose The Umbrella Man as your entry story?

It was the one that met the wordcount criteria!

You began your career writing poetry. Why switch to prose?

I began writing poetry in school. After I graduated I realised I wanted to write stories.

Most of your stories are set in...

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