DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012 Longlist announced

New Delhi, Sept 14 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) The Longlist of 16 titles for the 2012 edition of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was announced here on Wednesday.

The longlisted books, which represent the best works of fiction pertaining to the South Asian region, include an interesting mix of established as well debut novelists, along with three translated entries.

The longlisted entries contending for the prestigious US $50,000 award are:

v  Omair Ahmad: Jimmy the Terrorist (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin India)

v  U.R. Ananthamurthy: Bharathipura (Oxford University Press, India, Translated by Susheela Punitha)

v  Chandrakanta: A Street in Srinagar (Zubaan Books, India, Translated by Manisha Chaudhry)

v  Siddharth Chowdhury: Day Scholar (Picador/Pan Macmillan, India)

v  Kishwar Desai: Witness the Night (HarperCollins/HarperCollins-India)

v  Namita Devidayal: Aftertaste (Random House, India)

v  Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: One Amazing Thing (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin India)

v  Manu Joseph: Serious Men (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins, India)

v  Usha K.R: Monkey-man (Penguin/Penguin India)

v  Shehan Karunatilaka: Chinaman (Random House, India)

v  Tabish Khair: The Thing About Thugs (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins-India)

v  Jill McGivering: The Last Kestrel (Blue Door/HarperCollins-UK)

v  Kavery Nambisan: The Story that Must Not Be Told (Viking/Penguin India)

v  Atiq Rahimi: The Patience Stone (Chatto & Windus/Random House-UK, Translated by Polly McLean)

v  Kalpish Ratna: The Quarantine Papers (HarperCollins-India)

v  Samrat Upadhyay: Buddha’s Orphan (Rupa Publications, India)

The announcement, at the Claridges Hotel in the capital, was preceded by a discussion between authors Tarun Tejpal, Namita Gokhale and Sanjoy Roy of Teamwork Productions exploring ‘The Question of Identity: South Asian Fiction in Perspective’ amongst a gathering of authors, publishers and media persons.

The longlist was chosen from close to 60 entries received by the DSC Prize Secretariat earlier this year and reviewed over the past 3 months, by a five member jury comprising Dr. Alastair Niven, Dr. Fakrul Alam, Faiza S Khan, Ira Pande (Chair of the jury) and Marie Brenner. 

The Jury has assessed and identified these exemplary works of fiction that voice the dynamic and eclectic nature of the South Asian region and culture.

Commenting on the Longlist and the jury experience, Chairperson of the Jury, Ira Pande said, “The longlist of the 2012 DSC Prize is an interesting mix of 16 titles chosen after a careful consideration of various styles, languages and subject matter.

“To my mind, it reflects the best of the South Asian literary tradition: a wide landscape of rural and urban life, intricate rituals of story-telling and an indication of its evolving form. This is the East, seen as it is by some of the most promising novelists of Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, and as it appears to those who live elsewhere.”

The jury will now deliberate on the longlist over the next month and the shortlist for the DSC Prize will be announced on Monday, October 24, at the Shakespeare Globe in London on the culmination of the DSC South Asian Literature Festival in UK.

The winner will be subsequently declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2012.

Speaking on the occasion, Manhad Narula, Founder of the Prize, said, “This year’s longlist makes for an excellent reading list and each book is a distinct example of the definitive writing that has emerged on South Asia today.”

In January 2011, the inaugural DSC Prize was won by Pakistani author HM Naqvi for his debut novel Home Boy (HarperCollins India) which has gone on to become one of the most celebrated recent renditions on South Asia.
Post the announcement, Home Boy is now also being published in the British Commonwealth apart from its existing editions, realizing one of the central visions of the prize, which is to propagate and present South Asian writing to a larger global audience.

The DSC prize is guided by an international Advisory Committee comprising MJ Akbar, Urvashi Butalia, Tina Brown, William Dalrymple, Lord Meghnad Desai, David Godwin, Surina Narula, Senath Walter Perera, Nayantara Sehgal and Michael Worton.

The prize is not ethnicity driven in terms of the author’s origin and is awarded for the best work of fiction based on South Asia, published in English, including translations into English.

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