Reema Rajbanshi (M.A., English, ’07) has won the UC Davis Department of English Maurice Prize. The $5,000 award has been given annually since 2005 to a graduate of the creative writing program who has not yet published a major work of fiction. The award is made possible by best-selling novelist and Davis resident John Lescroart and is named for his late father. Rajbanshi won the award for her novel manuscript Sugar, Smoke, Song.
“This novel is a gorgeous thunderswirl of dance and music, failure and friendship,” wrote award judge Ramona Ausubel, who has published a novel and a collection of short stories. “I love how the places — India, New York, San Francisco and beyond — press out through the narrative alongside Hindu, American and family mythologies.”
Rajbanshi’s writing has appeared in Confrontation, So to Speak, Southwest Review and Another Subcontinent. She won the 2010 So to Speak fiction contest. She is working on a doctorate in literature from UC San Diego.