DSC prize shortlist for South Asian Literature 2017: Five authors in contention | Sunday Observer

DSC prize shortlist for South Asian Literature 2017: Five authors in contention

Five authors in contention for the coveted prize September 27, 2017, London: The world’s literati gathered at the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science as the eagerly awaited shortlist for the US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 was announced at a prestigious event. The much anticipated shortlist of five novels was announced today by Ritu Menon, along with the other four jury members - Senath Walter Perera, Steven Bernstein, Valentine Cunningham and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. The jury had earlier announced a long list of 13 novels at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi in August 2017.

The shortlist represents a diverse mix of established writers and young novelists fast making their mark in the South Asian Literary landscape. The shortlisted authors hail from different backgrounds and geographies, and include three Indian writers, of which two are based outside the South Asian region, one Sri Lankan writer and one American writer based in India. The shortlist announcement was well received by publishers, authors and literary enthusiasts who attended the event.

The five shortlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 are:

* Anjali Joseph: The Living (Fourth Estate, Harper Collins, UK)

* Anuk Arudpragasam: The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta Books, UK)

* Aravind Adiga: Selection Day (Fourth Estate, Harper Collins, India)

* Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs (Chatto and Windus, UK and Viking, USA & Fourth Estate, Harper Collins, India)

Stephen Alter: In the Jungles of the Night (Aleph Book Company, India)

Speaking at the occasion, Ritu Menon, Chair of the jury commented, “After deliberating on the many exceptional qualities of the novels selected, and considering the disparities in our backgrounds, the jury was unanimous in its decision on the five shortlisted titles. All five display a remarkable skill in animating current universal preoccupations in unconventional idioms, and from a distinctively South Asian perspective.”

The jury will now deliberate on the shortlist over the next month and a half, and the winner of The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 will be announced at a special Award Ceremony at the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh on November 18, 2017.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature prides itself on a thorough and transparent judging process and is modelled on global best practices.

The five member international jury panel, comprising literary luminaries drawn from diverse geographies and expertise, is solely responsible for deciding and arriving at the long list, the shortlist, and the ultimate winner; and their adjudication is final.

This year’s international jury panel includes, Ritu Menon, Jury Chair and eminent feminist writer who has commented on a wide range of gender issues affecting the South Asian region, Valentine Cunningham, Prof Emeritus of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, UK, who has authored several books on Victorian fiction and poetry, Steven Bernstein, celebrated screenwriter, director, author, cinematographer and lecturer based out of Los Angeles, USA, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, respected journalist, pundit, radio and television broadcaster, based in London who has written extensively on society, culture and feminism, and Senath Walter Perera, Senior Prof in English, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, who has authored several publications on the diasporic and postcolonial literature of the region.

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

The US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was instituted by Surina Narula and Manhad

Narula in 2010, is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian writing. It is a unique and coveted prize and open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people. It also encourages writing in regional languages and translations and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator, in case a translated entry wins.

Now in its 7th year, the DSC Prize has been successful in bringing South Asian writing to a larger global audience through rewarding and showcasing the achievements of the authors’ writing about this region. Past winners of the DSC Prize have been H M Naqvi of Pakistan, Shehan Karunatilaka of Sri Lanka, Jeet Thayil and Cyrus Mistry from India, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Anuradha Roy from India who won the prize last year.

In line with its South Asian essence, the DSC Prize Award ceremony is held in various South Asian countries by rotation. The winner of the DSC Prize 2015 was announced in Jaipur, India, the winner of the DSC Prize 2016 was announced at the Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka, and this year the winner of the DSC Prize 2017 will be announced at the Dhaka Literary Festival, Bangladesh on November 18, 2017. 

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