11 Authors in contention for the coveted prize

The much –awaited longlist for the US $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 was announced at the Oxford Bookstore, today, by renowned journalist and author Mark Tully, who is the chair of the jury panel for the distinguished prize. The longlist comprising 11 books represents a mix of established writers and debut novelists from different backgrounds and geographies.

It features authors based in South Asia as well as the authors who explored South Asian life and culture from an outside perspective.

The longlist announcement event was attended by publishers, authors and literary enthusiasts who welcomed the selection of the longlist. There were over 75 entries for the DSC Prize this year, from which the jury has compiled the longlist of 11 books that they feel represent the best works of fiction related to the South Asian region

The longlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 are:

1. Aatish Taseer: The Way Things Were (Picador/PanMacmillan, India)
2. Akhil Sharma: Family Life (Faber & Faber, UK)
3. Amit Chaudhuri: Odysseus Abroad (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin India)
4. Anuradha Roy: Sleeping on Jupiter (Hachette, India)
5. K.R. Meera: Hang Woman (translated by J Devika ; Penguin, India)

6. Minoli Salgado: A Little Dust on the Eyes (Peepal Tree Press, UK)
7. Mirza Waheed: The Book of Gold Leaves (Viking/Penguin India)
8. Monica Byrne: The Girl in the Road (Blackfriars/Little, Brown Book Group, UK)
9. Neel Mukherjee: The Lives of Others (Vintage/Penguin Random House, UK)
10. Raj Kamal Jha: She Will Build Him A City (Bloomsbury, India)

11. Sandip Roy: Don't Let Him Know (Bloomsbury, India)

Speaking on the occasion, Mark Tully, Chair of the jury commented, “Once again the DSC Prize has attracted an outstanding list of entries. The novels vary widely in content and in style.

They cover all the countries of South Asia. I am particularly happy that there are novels from the small states of North East India - states which do not get adequate attention from the rest of the country. The DSC Prize includes translated novels written in South Asian languages.

This is most important for the fulfilment of the prize's ambition to show the best of South Asian writing to the world. There is so much excellent writing in the languages of the region which we should all be aware of.

Another important element in the prize is that it is not limited to South Asian writers. Once again there are exciting entries this year from them too. Among the entrants there are well-known names and some authors hoping to make their names. By the time we come to select the winner at the Galle Literary Festival in January I will have been enormously enriched by the books I have read and the discussions about them I will have with my distinguished colleagues on the jury. I am also confident that the cause of South Asian literature will have been well served.”

The US $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature which 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 is 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. In line with its South Asian essence, the DSC Prize Award ceremony will be held in various South Asian countries by rotation, starting this year.

The winner of the DSC Prize 2016 will be announced at the Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka on January 16, 2016. The DSC Prize has completed 5 successful years and during this period it has been able to achieve its objective of bringing South Asian writing to a larger world-wide forum as each of the winners has gone on to be published internationally and their work has reached a wider global audience.

The last five years have had winners from different countries – HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Homeboy, Harper Collins, India), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman, Random House, India), Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis, Faber & Faber, London), Cyrus Mistry from India (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer, Aleph India) and Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland, Bloomsbury, India) who won the prize last year. For more information, visit: www.dscprize.com. 


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