‘Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer’ emerges as the winner from a shortlist of six to take the US $50,000 DSC Prize
Jaipur, January 18, 2014: The widely acclaimed DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014 announced Cyrus Mistry as the winner this year for his book ‘Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer’ at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The US $50,000 DSC Prize along with a unique trophy was awarded to Cyrus who is the second Indian to win this award. His winning book mirrors the painful saga of love within the small Parsi community of corpse bearers.
The six shortlisted authors and books in contention for the DSC Prize were Anand: Book of Destruction (Translated by Chetana Schidanandan; Penguin, India), Benyamin: Goat Days (Translated by Joseph Koyippalli; Penguin, India), Cyrus Mistry: Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer (Aleph Book Company, India), Mohsin Hamid: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India), Nadeem Aslam: The Blind Man’s Garden (Random House, India), Nayomi Munaweera: Island of a Thousand Mirrors (Perera Hussein Publishing, Sri Lanka)
The DSC Prize Secretariat had received close to 70 entries this year with participation from publishers in South Asia, UK, USA, Canada and Australia amongst others. 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 last three years have had winners from three different countries in South Asia further reflecting the importance of South Asia’s rapidly expanding book market.
The fourth edition of the DSC Prize 2014 was judged by a diverse and distinguished Jury comprising of eminent members from the international literary fraternity – Antara Dev Sen, editor, writer and literary critic and chair of the DSC Prize jury, Arshia Sattar, an eminent Indian translator, writer and a teacher, Ameena Saiyid, the MD of Oxford University Press in Pakistan, Rosie Boycott, acclaimed British journalist and editor and Paul Yamazaki, a veteran bookseller and one of the most respected names in the book trade in the US.
While announcing the winner, Antara Dev Sen, the DSC Prize 2014 Jury Chair said, “Cyrus Mistry’s Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer is a deeply moving book, exquisitely drawn on a small, almost claustrophobic canvas. It takes a tiny slice of life, the life of the Khandhias or corpse bearers of the Parsi community, and weaves a powerful story about this downtrodden caste we know so little about. A fantastic storyteller, Mistry offers a beautiful novel rich in historical detail and existential angst, gently questioning the way we look at justice, custom, love, life and death.”
Commenting on the winner announcement, Manhad Narula, Steering Committee member of the DSC Prize said, “My heartiest congratulations to Cyrus Mistry for winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014. It represents the very best of South Asian fiction writing today and this book is a remarkable exploration of a very specific and hidden world that not many of us are aware of. I thank the jury members who’ve had the difficult task of choosing a winner from the six exceptional contenders that we had in the shortlist this year. Now completing four successful years, the DSC Prize remains focused on recognizing the best talent writing about the South Asian region and bringing it to a larger global audience”
The last three winners of the DSC Prize have been HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Home Boy: Harper Collins, India), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman, Random House, India) and Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis, Faber & Faber, London). Each of these winners has gone on to be published internationally and their work has reached a larger global audience which has been one of the central visions of the DSC Prize.
Over the years the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has been deeply involved in supporting the cause of Literature of the South Asian region and is committed to widen the ambit of conversation on South Asian writing by reaching out to diverse audiences through its various events and initiatives.
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 the principal sponsor of the Jaipur Literature Festival for five years till 2013. 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 2010 and 2011 editions of DSC South Asian Literature Festival in the UK.
|DSC Prize Steering Committee||Genesis Burson-Marsteller|
|Deepa Kumar||Farheen Khan|
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