HM Naqvi wins the first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Jaipur, January 22nd 2011: The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature announced its first ever winner HM Naqvi for his book Home Boy (HarperCollins India). Naqvi was announced the winner at a memorable ceremony at Jaipur’s Diggi Palace, attended by eminent literary figures, renowned authors, members of the media fraternity and a diverse literary audience. The event took place at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, one of the biggest literature festivals in the world. The US $50,000 DSC Prize along with a unique trophy was awarded to HM Naqvi by Mr. H S Narula – Chairman of DSC Limited – a well known patron of literature.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was instituted in January 2010 to celebrate writing that highlights the South Asian region, its people, culture and diaspora. The DSC Prize, which has been envisioned as a unique and prestigious award, recognizes the literary works of authors across the globe writing on South Asia, transcending the origin or ethnicity of the author. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is one-of-its-kind in the region and aims at recognizing literary work that is redefining the understanding of South Asia across the globe.
Naqvi’s book titled Home Boy (HarperCollins India) was awarded the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature on the criteria of being the best work of fiction pertaining to the South Asian region, published in English, including translations into English.
The DSC Prize was judged by a distinguished Jury chaired by Nilanjana S Roy along with Lord Matthew Evans, Ian Jack, Amitava Kumar and Moni Mohsin and the shortlist of six was earlier announced in October 2010 at the DSC South Asian Literature Festival in London. The shortlisted authors competing for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature were:
- Amit Chaudhuri: The Immortals (Picador India);
- Musharraf Ali Farooqi: The Story of a Widow (Picador India);
- Tania James: Atlas Of Unknowns (Pocket Books);
- Manju Kapur: The Immigrant (Faber & Faber);
- Neel Mukherjee: A Life Apart (Constable & Robinson);
- HM Naqvi: Home Boy (HarperCollins India).
Speaking on the occasion, Nilanjana S Roy, Chair of the jury said, “Perhaps what the shortlist in this first year of the DSC Prize for South Asian literature reflects most strongly is the emergence of a provocative, intensely confident new generation of writers–four of the six authors on the shortlist were debut novelists. Our final choice, after many months of discussion, reflects the new energy sweeping through South Asian writing. HM Naqvi’s Home Boy precisely captures the swaggering bravado, black humour and complex loyalties of a generation that belongs everywhere and nowhere. The contemporary, pitch-perfect voice of his characters allow Naqvi to explore prejudice, belonging and exile as he maps the restlessness and conflicts of his three protagonists in a world where none of the old certainties apply.”
Manhad Narula, Director DSC Limited, commented on the occasion saying, “My heartiest congratulations go out to HM Naqvi – the first winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. The Prize comes a full circle on its vision and it’s been a fulfilling journey from the institution of the prize to the winner announcement. The DSC prize in its first year has generated a keen interest among the literary community and we hope to further our commitment to the propagation of the literary cause in the years to come. DSC is dedicated to the growth of the prize and strengthening the principle behind it which is encouraging writing talent and showcasing South Asia to a global literary audience.”
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is unique since 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. The DSC Prize is guided by an international Advisory Committee of eminent literary personalities comprising MJ Akbar, Urvashi Butalia, Tina Brown, William Dalrymple, Lord Meghnad Desai, David Godwin, Surina Narula, Senath Walter Perera, Nayantara Sehgal and Michael Worton.
Note to the Editor: DSC Limited Literary Initiatives
In its endeavour 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 a principal sponsor of 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 an extension of its vision to promote South Asian literature, DSC Limited recently instituted the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, with a prize money of US $ 50,000. This unique prize is a celebration of the rich and varied world of literature belonging to the South Asian region.
In order to further strengthen its association with South Asian literature, DSC Limited recently presented the first DSC South Asian Literature Festival which was held in London in October 2010. With growing interest and a robust following of South Asian writing in the UK, this event was a critical step in extending the company’s patronage of literature to a global platform.
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