Anuk Arudpragasam has been named the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 for his novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage at the Dhaka Lit Fest in Bangladesh.
Told in meditative, nuanced and powerful prose, this shattering novel marks the arrival of an extraordinary new literary voice. In a glittering award ceremony, the US $25,000 DSC Prize (approx £18,887) was awarded to the winner along with a unique trophy.
The five shortlisted authors and novels in contention for the DSC Prize this year were Anjali Joseph: The Living (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, UK), Anuk Arudpragasam: The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta Books, UK), Aravind Adiga: Selection Day (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India), Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs (Chatto & Windus, UK & Viking, USA & Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India) and Stephen Alter: In the Jungles of the Night (Aleph Book Company, India)
Speaking on the occasion, Ritu Menon, on behalf of the jury said. “The jury met and discussed the shortlisted novels in detail. As all the shortlisted novels had considerable strengths and remarkable literary quality, deciding the winner was not an easy task. However, the jury agreed that Anuk Arudpragasam was the best possible choice for his outstanding novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage. The novel is impressive for its intensity and rich detail, and for exploring the tragic heart of war with such quiet eloquence. It is also a testament to the redemptive power of love, and to the human spirit’s capacity for hope.”
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is an annual international literary prize that awards the best work in South Asian fiction writing each year. This year the prize received 60 eligible entries with participation from publishers from across the world. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature which is specifically focused on South Asian writing is unique in the sense that it is not ethnicity driven in terms of the author’s origin and is open to any author belonging to any part of the globe as long as the work is based on the South Asian region and its people. The past winners have been from various countries and their work has reflected the importance of South Asian culture and literature. This year’s international jury panel included Ritu Menon, Valentine Cunningham, Steven Bernstein, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and Senath Walter Perera.
Previous winners of the DSC Prize have included Anuradha Roy (Sleeping on Jupiter: Hachette, India) Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland: Vintage Books/Random House, India), Cyrus Mistry (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer: Aleph Book Company, India), Jeet Thayil (Narcopolis: Faber & Faber, London), Shehan Karunatilaka (Chinaman: Random House, India) and HM Naqvi (Home Boy: Harper Collins, India).