DSC Prize 2016

Next year's shortlist unveiled

Posted: 02.12.15

The eagerly anticipated shortlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 has finally been announced. The prestigious prize for South Asian Literature awards $50,000 USD for the best work in fiction to one author from any ethnicity or nationality provided they write about South Asia as a region and its people. Last year’s winner was Jhumpa Lahiri for her second novel The Lowland. The prize celebrates understanding and knowledge the subcontinent. Writing in regional languages is highly encouraged and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins. This works as a great impetus for regional writers who often struggle to gain visibility on international shores.

Established in 2010, the annual event prides itself on a thorough and transparent judging process and is modelled on global best practices. The jury panel is made up of eminent figures who have all worked in or around South Asia and understand the fabric of the society needed to best judge the narrative around the texts. This year’s shortlist was judged by an international five member jury panel comprised of Sir Mark Tully, Chair of the jury panel and renowned journalist who has commentated on a wide range of issues affecting the South Asian region for over four decades. Mark Tully, Jury Chair said, ‘We have had to make difficult decisions because all the books on the very varied long-list could qualify for the shortlist. Our final list still reflects the variety and vigour of South Asian fiction writing and writing about South Asia. One of the most striking features of the list is the quality of writing. The novels are also remarkable for their realism and for the way they convey atmosphere. I am particularly glad that a translation from a South Asian language into English is included in the shortlist’.

The other judges included: Dennis Walder, Emeritus Professor of Literature at the Open University, UK, who has authored several articles and books on 19th and 20th century literature; Karen Allman, highly respected book seller and literary coordinator based out of Seattle, USA; Neloufer de Mel, Senior Professor of English at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, who has written extensively on society, culture and feminism; and Syed Manzoorul Islam, celebrated Bangladeshi writer, translator, critic and academic.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 shortlist comprises:

Akhil Sharma:
Family Life
(Faber & Faber, UK) - he was named one of Granta's 'Best of Young American Novelists' in 2007

Anuradha Roy:
Sleeping on Jupiter
(Hachette, India) - won the Economist Crossword
Prize for Fiction for her novel The Folded Earth

K.R. Meera:
Hang Woman
(Translated by J Devika; Penguin, India)
- recognised with some of the most prestigious prizes for literary writing in Malayalam.

Mirza Waheed:
The Book of Gold Leaves
(Viking/Penguin India) - debut novel The Collaborator an international bestseller and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, book of the year for Telegraph, New Statesman, Financial Times

Neel Mukherjee:
The Lives of Others
(Vintage/Penguin Random House, UK) - His first novel, A Life Apart (2010), won the Vodafone-Crossword Award in India, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for best fiction

Raj Kamal Jha:
She Will Build Him A City
(Bloomsbury, India) - His novels include The Blue Bedspread, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, winner of the 2000 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia) and a New York Times Notable Book of the Yea

The prize is co-founded by accomplished British-Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist Surina Narula MBE.

The winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will be announced at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka, on 16th January 2016.

Pictured: Manhad Marula, Co-Founder, DSC Prize

Obie Matin

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