Mamang Dai, Itanagar-based author and journalist, has won the 2017 Sahitya Akademi Award in English language for her 2014 novel “The Black Hill”. The novel gives innate descriptions of the life of the tribal people of north east India from the yester years, interweaving their lives with fiction and history. It is the story of Gimur, a girl from the Abor tribe who runs away with Kajinsha of the Mishmee tribe. Their tale of love is painted with the mid-19th century Northeast India as the background. It had also brought in missionaries, one of them being Father Nicolas Krick, a Jesuit priest who wanted to carry his mission to Tibet. ‘The Black Hill’ is a richly imagined story descriptively created around two recorded historical events – this French priest’s mysterious disappearance and the execution of Kajinsha for his murder. The award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh will be presented to the author at a special function on February 2018.