DSC Prize 2011 Shortlist

« 2011 Shortlist Press Release

Amit Chaudhuri: The Immortals (Picador India)

The Immortals is set in Bombay during the 1970s and early 1980s. It traces the history of two families, one bathed in corporate affluence and the other subsisting on its musical tradition. The book is an ordered tabulation of their unremarkable existence, with the words on the page like the agglomeration of notes on a music sheet.

Amit Chaudhuri is an internationally recognised Indian English author, an academic, and an acclaimed Indian classical musician. He is the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book for A Strange and Sublime Address in 1991 and the 2002 winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award for A New World. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He is currently teaching Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.

Musharraf Ali Farooqi: The Story of a Widow (Picador India)

In the neighbourhood of Karachi, Mona, a recently widowed mother of two grown women is trying to settle into her new life. Things take an unexpected turn when the affable, yet impertinent Salamat Ali moves in next door and eventually proposes to marry her. As her family swoops in to defend her honour, Mona asserts herself against their ministrations and makes a most unpredictable decision.

Musharraf Ali Farooqi is known for his critically acclaimed translation of the Indo-Islamic legend, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, published in 2007. He is currently translating the world’s first magical fantasy epic Tilism-e Hoshruba, as well as working on the graphic novel Rabbit Rap.

Tania James: Atlas of Unknowns (Pocket Books)

When 17-year-old Anju wins a scholarship to study art in New York, she eagerly embraces all that America offers her. But Anju harbours a guilty secret and when it is exposed she goes into hiding learning more than she bargained for. Meanwhile, back home in Kerela, her sister Linno sets out, determined to find her.

Tania James was born in 1980 and raised in Kentucky. She graduated from Harvard University in film-making and received her Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University. She currently lives in New York City. Atlas of Unknowns is her first novel.

Manju Kapur: The Immigrant (Faber & Faber)

When Nina, a 30-year-old lecturer based in Delhi goes in for an arranged marriage with Ananda and relocates to Canada, she realises the changes in her life are far greater than she ever could have imagined. As certain truths about Ananda and their relationship unfold, she realises that establishing a new life will cost more than she expected and that some things can never be left behind.

Manju Kapur is author of Difficult Daughters, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for First Book (Eurasia Section). She currently lives in New Delhi and recently retired from teaching English literature at Miranda House College, University of Delhi. The Immigrant is her fourth novel.

Neel Mukherjee: A Life Apart (Constable & Robinson)

Neel Mukherjee was born in Calcutta and educated in Calcutta, Oxford, and Cambridge. He reviews fiction for the Times and TIME Magazine Asia and has written for the TLS, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the New York Times, the Boston Review, the Sunday Telegraph and Biblio. He is also a contributing editor to Boston Review.

Neel Mukherjee was born in Calcutta. A Life Apart, published as Past Continuous in India, is his first novel. He divides his time between London and the USA.

Set in India during the 1970s and ’80s, in England in the ’90s and in Raj Bengal in the 1900s, the award-winning first novel, A Life Apart, from one of India’s most acclaimed new writers is about dislocation and alienation, outsiders and losers, the tenuous and unconscious intersections of lives and histories, and the consolations of storytelling. Unsentimental yet full of compassion, and written with unrelenting honesty, this scalding debut marks a new turning point in writing from and of the Subcontinent.

HM Naqvi: Home Boy (HarperCollins)

Home Boy is at once an immigrant’s tale, a mystery, a story of love and loss as well as a unique meditation on America and notions of collective identity. It announces the debut of an original, electrifying voice in contemporary fiction.

H.M. Naqvi graduated from Georgetown and has done a creative writing programme at Boston University. He has worked in finance, run a slam venue, and taught creative writing courses. He is the winner of a Phelam Prize and has received a Lannan fellowship.

He currently resides in Karachi.