The DSC prize is a celebration of the rich and varied world of literature of South Asia, with the aim of bringing South Asian writing to a new global audience. This year, the winner of the 2017 DSC prize will be announced at the highly anticipated Dhaka Literary Festival.
This week, we give you an introduction to the five writers shortlisted for the prestigious prize, a mix of new novelists and established writers who have already made their mark on the South Asian literary landscape.
Anjali Joseph (Indian)
Anjali Joseph is the author of Saraswati Park, Another Country, and The Living. Her first novel, Saraswati Park, was published by 4th Estate in 2010; it won the Betty Trask Prize, Desmond Elliott Prize, and Vodafone Crossword Book Award for Fiction in India. Another Country, her second novel, was published in June 2012. And the third novel, The Living, for which she got the DSC nomination, published by 4th Estate in March 2016.
In this tender, lyrical, and often funny novel, Anjali Joseph shines a light on everyday life, illuminating its humour, beauty, and truth. This is the story of two lives woven through with the ongoing discipline of work and the responsibility and tedium of family life.
Anuk Arudpragasam (Srilankan)
Anuk is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and his dissertation is about the theorisation and idealisation of the individual in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and John Dewey. He is also a writer of fiction and his first novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, has been nominated for the DSC this year.
The Story of a Brief Marriage
This book is a feat of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, a meditation on the fundamental elements of human existence. Set over the course of a single day and night, this unflinching debut confronts marriage and war, life and death, bestowing on its subjects the highest dignity, however briefly. The book was published by Flatiron/Macmillan in September 2016, with translations published or forthcoming in French, German, Italian, Dutch, and Czech.
Aravind Adiga (Indian)
Aravind Adiga is an Indo-Australian writer and journalist. His debut novel The White Tiger won the 2008 Man Booker Prize. Adiga began his journalistic career as a financial journalist and was subsequently hired by TIME, where he remained a South Asia correspondent for three years before going freelance.
A dazzling new novel about two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised by their obsessive father to become cricket stars, and whose coming-of-age threatens their relationship, future, and sense of themselves.
Karan Mahajan (Indian)
Karan Mahajan is an Indian-American novelist, essayist, and critic. His second novel, The Association of Small Bombs, was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. He has contributed writing to The Believer, The Daily Beast, the San Francisco Chronicle, Granta, and The New Yorker. In 2017, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.
The Association of Small Bombs
When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, go to pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb—one of the many “small” bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world—detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys to the devastation of their parents.
Stephen Alter (American)
Stephen Alter is the author of eighteen books of fiction and non-fiction. He has written extensively on natural history, folklore and mountain culture.
In the Jungles of the Night
Written about Jim Corbett, a hunter who tracked down marauding tigers and leopards. A naturalist who spoke the language of the jungle. One of the first wildlife photographers to capture images of large predators in their natural habitat. A conservationist who voiced the earliest warnings about India’s dwindling natural heritage. A legend whose knowledge of the forests of India and the birds and animals that he encountered was unsurpassed.