New Delhi, October 16, 2012: With several acclaimed novels on the 16 book Longlist, the 2013 edition of DSC Prize for South Asian Literature looks set to be closely contested. The DSC Prize 2013 Longlist was announced today by Jury chair K Satchidanandan and comprises four debut novels, two works in translation from Hindi, and authors and translators form across India, Australia, UK, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pakistani fiction, which was conspicuous by its absence in the prize last year, makes a comeback with four titles in the Longlist for 2013.
There were 81 entries for the US $50,000 prize this year, from which the jury has compiled the Longlist of 16 books that they feel represent the diverse cultural landscapes of South Asia through a vibrant literary flourish. The jury panel included K Satchidanandan (Chair), Muneeza Shamsie, Rick Simonson, Suvani Singh and Eleanor O’Keeffe.
The longlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013 are:
Jamil Ahmad: The Wandering Falcon (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin India)
Alice Albinia: Leela’s Book (Harvill Secker, London)
Tahmima Anam: The Good Muslim (Penguin Books)
Rahul Bhattacharya: The Sly Company of People Who Care (Picador, London / Farrar Strauss and Giroux, New York)
Roopa Farooki: The Flying Man (Headline Review/ Hachette, London
Musharraf Ali Farooqi: Between Clay and Dust (Aleph Book Company, India)
Amitav Ghosh: River of Smoke (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin India)
Niven Govinden: Black Bread White Beer (Fourth Estate/ Harper Collins India)
Sunetra Gupta: So Good in Black (Clockroot Books, Massachusetts)
Mohammed Hanif, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (Random House India)
Jerry Pinto: Em and the Big Hoom (Aleph Book Company, India)
Uday Prakash: The Walls of Delhi (Translated by Jason Grunebaum; UWA Publishing, W. Australia)
Anuradha Roy: The Folded Earth (Hachette India)
Saswati Sengupta: The Song Seekers (Zubaan, India)
Geetanjali Shree: The Empty Space (Translated by Nivedita Menon; Harper Perennial/ Harper Collins India)
Jeet Thayil: Narcopolis ( Faber and Faber, London)
“The values we were looking for in the works were many: novelty of theme, freshness of the narrative strategies used as well as the idiom, the contribution the work makes to the genre of the novel in general. And we found several works which had one or all of these qualities. They were charmingly diverse in their theme and treatment and well aware of the political, cultural and psychological dimensions of life in the societies and people they were dealing with, making our reading a rich, educative as well as aesthetic experience. Each of us prepared our own long lists, which had many works in common, and where we differed, we arrived at a consensus through genial mutual consultation., thus arriving at the present list of sixteen books that showcase the richness and variety of fiction written around the life of South Asians or people of South Asian origin within and outside their own countries.”, commented K Satchidanandan, Chair of the Jury.
Commenting on the experience of the panel, he added, “The DSC Prize has attained the status of a premier literary prize in Asia as it gets judged through a long process of informed discussion, debate and filtering and is easily one of the most credible and coveted awards in the area of fiction on South Asia. We the members of the jury were excited by the unprecedented response the call for submissions had received from publishers, bringing to us a total of 81 books from around the world. We also noted with delight that the authors came from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and showed alike a deep understanding of life in South Asia in all its beauty and turbulence-its conflicts and paradoxes, its bleeding wounds and its undying dreams.”
The jury will now deliberate on the longlist over the next month and the shortlist for the DSC Prize will be announced on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at The May Fair Hotel in London. The winner will be subsequently declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2013.
Speaking on the occasion, Manhad Narula from the DSC Prize Steering Committee, said, “We have a lot of well known authors on this year’s longlist and some newfound literary gems that should excite any reader looking to explore South Asian writing. Having included books as recent as April 2012 in the selection process, the DSC Prize longlist this year throws up some excellent new interesting books. I’d like to congratulate the longlisted authors and wish them the very best. It will be exciting to see the books that make it to the shortlist from here. Looking at the titles, the jury surely has its work cut out.”
The announcement was preceded by readings from previous DSC Prize winning novels HM Naqvi’s Home Boy and Shehan Karunatilaka’s Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, to celebrate the success of these prize winning novels. Both authors have gone on to be published internationally and helped realize 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 Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Alastair Niven, Fakrul Alam, Ira Pande, Marie Brenner, William Dalrymple, David Godwin, Michael Worton and Surina Narula. 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.
Notes to the Editor
About DSC Limited’s Literary Initiatives
In its efforts to contribute to social growth and create social infrawealth, DSC Limited has identified the promotion of literature as a key initiative. The company firmly believes that promoting literature helps build the character of society, just as its infrastructure projects help create the infrawealth of the nation.
As a major move towards promoting literature, the company has been supporting the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival for the last six years. During this period, this event has grown to become the largest literary event of its kind in the region. As part of its vision of promoting South Asian literature, the most significant development has been the institution of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2010. This unique prize, which carries an award of US $50,000, is a celebration of the rich and varied world of literature belonging to the South Asian region.
DSC Limited has also been the principal sponsor of the DSC South Asian Literature Festival in the UK. With growing interest and a robust following of South Asian writing in the UK, this event is a critical platform in extending the company’s patronage of literature to a global audience.
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