DSC Prize for South Asian Literature longlist announced

Big publishers dominate this year’s longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 which was announced at the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan October 20, 2014.

The longlist of ten books includes a mix of established writers and debut novelists  from different backgrounds and geographies including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, some of whom are now based in USA, UK and Canada

The DSC Prize, now in its fifth year has successfully celebrated and rewarded the best talent writing on the South Asian region and presented it to a global audience.

The longlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 are:

Bilal Tanweer: The Scatter Here is Too Great (Vintage Books/Random House, India)
Jaspreet Singh: Helium (Bloomsbury, India)
Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland (Vintage Books/Random House, India)
Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury, India)
Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed (Bloomsbury, India)
Meena Kandasamy: The Gypsy Goddess (Fourth Estate/Harper Collins, India)
Omar Shahid Hamid: The Prisoner (Pan Books/Pan Macmillan, India)
Romesh Gunesekera: Noontide Toll (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India)
Rukmini Bhaya Nair: Mad Girl’s Love Song (Harper Collins, India)
Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: The Mirror of Beauty (Penguin Books, India)

Speaking on the occasion, Keki N. Daruwalla, Chair of the jury commented “It has been both exhausting and rewarding going through these seventy five novels. As expected the variety is considerable. Obviously there was a tremendous mix here—of themes, landscapes, styles, issues—both political and personal. The narratives ranged from eighteenth and nineteenth century history to the Naxalite era in West Bengal, tribal rebellions to feudal atrocities. Scene and landscape varied from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal to Afghanistan. After all, the novel had to be situated in South Asia—that being one of the main requirements of the prize. It is also what makes the DSC Prize so special.”

“To give an idea of the variety, a schizophrenic from Bihar imagines conversations with Sylvia Plath and Blake. Soldiers returning from the Great War (1914—1918) find life different in the NWFP. A Sri Lankan car driver on hire visits places –the subtext here is the exploration of the past.” he added.

The shortlist for the DSC Prize will be announced on 27th November at The London School of Economics in London with the winner of the $50,000 prize (£31,439) announced at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2015.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has previously been won by HM Naqvi for Home Boy, by Shehan Karunatilaka for Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, by Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis and by Cyrus Mistry for Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer. Each winner has gone on to be published internationally and their work has reached a larger global audience.

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