‘Exceptional qualities’ on DSC Prize for South Asian Literature longlist

The long-list for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 has been announced.

The long-list of 13 novels was unveiled at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi and represents a diverse mix of established writers and debut novelists. This year the list includes seven Indian writers, three Pakistani writers, one Sri Lankan writers and an American writer based in India.

The long-listed entries are:

• Anjali Joseph: The Living (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, UK)
• Anosh Irani: The Parcel (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India & Knopf Random House Canada)
• Anuk Arudpragasam: The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta Books, UK)
• Aravind Adiga: Selection Day (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India)
• Ashok Ferrey: The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons (Penguin Books, Penguin Random House, India)
• Hirsh Sawhney: South Haven (Akashic Books, USA and HarperCollins, India)
• Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs (Chatto & Windus, UK & Viking, USA & Fourth Estate, HarperCollins India)
• K.R. Meera: The Poison of Love (Translated by Ministhy S, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)
• Omar Shahid Hamid: The Party Worker (Pan Macmillan, India)
• Perumal Murugan: Pyre (Translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)
• Sarvat Hasin: This Wide Night (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)
• Shahbano Bilgrami: Those Children (HarperCollins, India)
• Stephen Alter: In the Jungles of the Night (Aleph Book Company, India)

Ritu Menon, Chair of the jury said: “We were struck by several exceptional qualities in the novels selected: their inventiveness and creativity, both of subject matter and in literary treatment. We admired the maturity and humanity of the perspective they brought to bear on their characters, and the delicacy of their observations on difficult or troubled situations. We were beguiled by their wit and humour, as well as impressed by the versatility of their skill when dealing with history. And we were reminded that, although the writers’ preoccupations may be universal and their sensibility cosmopolitan, their voices are distinctly South Asian.”

A shortlist will be announced on 27th September, 2017 at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) in London, with the winner of the $25,000 prize, being announced at the Dhaka Literary Festival in November.

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. The prize money was US $50,0000 in previous years.

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