Jhumpa Lahiri wins the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015

The Lowland emerges as the winner of the $50,000 DSC Prize from a shortlist of five

THE LOWLANDJaipur, January 22, 2015: Jhumpa Lahiri has been announced as the winner of the widely acclaimed DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 for her book The Lowland at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The US $50,000 DSC Prize along with a unique trophy was awarded by the Chief Guest Vijay Seshadri, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry. As Jhumpa Lahiri was unable to receive the award personally, it was collected on her behalf by her publisher.

The five shortlisted authors and books in contention for the DSC Prize this year were Bilal Tanweer: The Scatter Here is Too Great (Vintage Books/Random House, India), Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland (Vintage Books/Random House, India), Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury, India), Romesh Gunesekera: Noontide Toll (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India) and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: The Mirror of Beauty (Penguin Books, India).

The DSC Prize had received more than 75 entries this year with participation from publishers from the subcontinent as well as from countries like the UK, US, Canada, Australia and South Africa 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 past winners have been from various countries and their work has reflected the importance of South Asian culture and literature.

The fifth edition of the DSC Prize was judged by a diverse and distinguished Jury comprising eminent members from the international literary fraternity – Keki N. Daruwalla, leading Indian writer and poet and chair of the DSC Prize jury, John Freeman, author, literary critic and former editor of Granta from the US, Maithree Wickramasinghe, a Professor of English at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and the  University of Sussex and an expert on gender studies, Michael Worton,  Emeritus Professor at the University College London, who has written extensively on modern literature and art, and Razi Ahmed from Pakistan who is the founding director of the annual, not-for-profit Lahore Literary Festival.

Jury chair Keki N. Daruwalla speaking on behalf of the jury said, “The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri is a superb novel written in restrained prose with moments of true lyricism. It starts with a sense of loss and trauma due to the death and then the ongoing presence of a key character. The novel is partly political and partly familial, starting with an unromanticised account of the Indian Naxalite movement and ending with a series of individual emotional resolutions. The Lowland is a novel about the difficulty of love in complex personal and societal circumstances, inhabited by characters which are finely drawn and where the lowland itself is a metaphor running through their entire lives. This is a fine novel written by a writer at the height of her powers.”

Commenting on the winner announcement, Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize said, “My heartiest congratulations to Jhumpa Lahiri for winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015. The winning novel represents the very best of South Asian fiction writing today and I hope that this book will be read by a wider global audience. I thank the jury members who’ve had the difficult task of choosing a winner from the five exceptional contenders that we had in the shortlist this year. Now completing five 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 four years have had winners from three different countries in South Asia – HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Homeboy, Harper Collins, India), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman, Random House, India), Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis, Faber & Faber, London) and Cyrus Mistry from India (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer, Aleph India). 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.

About the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

The US $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature which was instituted in 2010, is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian writing. It is a unique and coveted prize and is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people. It also encourages writing in regional languages and translations and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins.

Now in its 5th year, the DSC Prize has been successful in bringing South Asian writing to a larger global audience through a celebration of the achievements of the authors writing about this region, and thereby raise awareness of South Asian literature and culture around the world. The DSC Prize is committed to extend the conversation on South Asian writing and reaches out to various audiences through exciting & creative partnerships with the London School of Economics, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Jaipur Literature festival, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, the Goethe Institute and the University of Delhi amongst others.

The last four years have had winners from three different countries in South Asia – HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Homeboy, Harper Collins, India), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman, Random House, India), Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis, Faber & Faber, London) and Cyrus Mistry from India (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer, Aleph India). 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 Farheen Khan / Suraj Kashyap
Contact No:
+91-9811993926
Contact No:
+91-9999026784/+91-9953317764
Email: deepa.kumar@dsclimited.com Email: farheen.khan@bm.com