15 books make it to the Longlist of the DSC Prize 2014

New Delhi, October 21, 2013: The longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014 was announced at the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan today, by noted Indian editor, writer and literary critic, Antara Dev Sen, who is chairing the jury panel for the prize. The final list of 15 chosen titles includes 3 works translated from Indian languages and comprises 4 debut novels along with the works of established writers. The longlist reflects a rich and healthy diversity of publishers across geographies including representation from the UK, US and Canada. With several acclaimed novels on the longlist, choosing the final winner for the 2014 edition of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature would be an interesting and challenging task for the jury panel.

There were over 65 entries for the coveted US $50,000 prize this year, from which the jury has compiled the longlist of 15 books that they feel best represents the eclectic and vibrant voice of the South Asian region. The jury panel comprises international luminaries from the world of literature and books- 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.

The longlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014 are:

  1. Anand: Book of Destruction (Translated by Chetana Sachidanandan; Penguin, India)
  2. Benyamin: Goat Days   (Translated by Joseph Koyippalli; Penguin, India)
  3. Cyrus Mistry: Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer (Aleph Book Company, India) 
  4. Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya: The Watch (Hogarth/ Random House, UK)   
  5. Manu Joseph: The Illicit Happiness of other people (John Murray, UK & Harper Collins India)
  6. Mohsin Hamid: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India)
  7. Nadeem Aslam: The Blind Man’s Garden (Random House, India)  
  8. Nayomi Munaweera: Island of a Thousand Mirrors (Perera Hussein Publishing, Sri Lanka)
  9. Nilanjana Roy: The Wildings (Aleph Book Company, India)
  10. Philip Hensher: Scenes from Early Life (Faber & Faber, USA)  
  11. Ru Freeman: On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf Press, USA)
  12. Sachin Kundalkar: Cobalt Blue (Translated by Jerry Pinto; Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India)
  13. Shyam Selvadurai: The Hungry Ghosts (Double Day Publishing, Canada and Viking/Penguin, India)
  14. Sonora Jha: Foreign (Vintage Books/Random House, India)
  15. Uzma Aslam Khan: Thinner Than Skin (Clockroot Books/Interlink Publishing, USA)

Speaking on the occasion, Antara Dev Sen, Chair of the jury commented “We are delighted to present the longlist for the DSC Prize 2014, which offers a wonderful variety of experiences from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and reflects much of the exhilarating and bewildering diversity that is the hallmark of South Asian fiction. The list includes celebrated, award-winning authors as well as powerful new voices, and I am particularly happy that it includes novels in translation from other Indian languages.

The novels range from the conventional to the experimental, from amazing tales sprawling across continents and generations to stories brilliantly detailed in a small, almost claustrophobic canvas. Several of these books are about violence – many about war, terrorism, conflict – underscoring what the contemporary South Asian experience is inescapably defined by. Many examine otherness – due to migration, caste or sexual identity, terror, alienation. Through extraordinary storytelling and sensitivity, these novels offer us a sense of history, a sense of loss and the invincibility of hope.” she added.

The jury will now deliberate on the longlist over the next month and the shortlist for the DSC Prize will be announced on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at The London School of Economics in London. The winner will be subsequently declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2014.

Manhad Narula of the DSC Prize Steering Committee, said, “I am excited by the longlist that the jury has come up with – it represents a good mix of well-known authors and new authors who are now making their mark on the South Asian literary canvas. I am delighted that the DSC Prize through its longlist has been able to highlight a range of issues pertaining to the ever evolving South Asian life – its culture, its people and their new found aspirations.  I’d like to congratulate the longlisted authors and wish them the very best. I personally look forward to reading each of these longlisted books and it will be exciting to see the books that make it to the shortlist from here.”

The announcement was preceded by a vivid theatric reading performance by the Tadpole Repertory, comprising seasoned theatre artists and voracious readers, Krittika Bhattacharjee, Neel Sengupta, and Pooja Anna Pant. The performance was inspired by the winning entries from the previous years and brought to life these recognized and celebrated works of South Asian writing.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature prides itself on a thorough and transparent judging process and is modeled on global best practices. The 5 member jury panel, which is selected from the recommendations made by the Advisory Committee, is solely responsible to decide and arrive at the longlist, the shortlist and the ultimate winner without any external influence and their adjudication is final.

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 and by Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis.  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.

For more information, please contact:

DSC Prize Steering Committee Genesis Burson-Marsteller
Deepa Kumar Sophia Christina
Contact No: 9811993926 Contact No: 9999161478
Email: deepa.kumar@dsclimited.com Email: sophia.christina@bm.com

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 five 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 2010 and 2011 editions of DSC South Asian Literature Festival in the UK.


About Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s non-profit cultural institution established to promote knowledge of German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation.

By drawing on its worldwide cultural and language based exchanges, the Goethe-Institut engenders a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on German culture, society and politics through its exchange of cultural initiatives and varied programming.

The Goethe-Institut endeavors not only to promote wide-ranging cultural exchange but also engages in cultural dialogues rooted in local partnerships and collaborations. Through its programming, the Goethe-Institut strives to develop innovative concepts for a world made more human through mutual understanding, where cultural diversity is seen as an asset.