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Three debuts and one translation mark the DSC Prize 2019 shortlist

  • Published at 11:43 pm November 7th, 2019
The DSC Prize Shortlist Courtesy

The shortlist, which includes writers of Indian, Pakistani and Afghan origin, has been prepared from a total of 90 eligible submissions from 42 publishers

Six novels, including three debuts and one translation, have made it to the shortlist of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019. The shortlist, which was announced on Wednesday at a special event at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, retains its focus on fresh and diverse voices in fiction, which informed the longlist announced in September.

The shortlist, which includes writers of Indian, Pakistani and Afghan origin, has been prepared from a total of 90 eligible submissions from 42 publishers, 30% of whom are based outside South Asia,and 27% of the authors are not citizens of a South Asian country.

Two of the three debuts, as emphasised by speakers at the event, are written by women. Speaking on the occasion, Jury Chair Harish Trivedi said, “There is now a South Asia beyond South Asia. Two of the six novels are set partly in New Delhi, and partly in the surrounding countryside in one case, and in the other case partly on the Baltic coast. One of the novels is set in Pakistan of the 1970s, one in Kashmir, and one in Afghanistan. The sixth is actually set in a prison and was written originally in Bengali by an author who has actually served time and used that period to learn to read and write. That too is South Asia.”

Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize, said, “Each of the shortlisted books is a must read and together they represent the very best of South Asian fiction writing. As the prize has always aimed to encourage fresh writing about the South Asian region. I am delighted to find women writers, debut novelists and a translated work on the shortlist.”

The DSC Prize, founded by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula in 2010, is administered by the South Asian Literature Prize & Events Trust.

The shortlisted books are:

  1. Amitabha Bagchi: Half the Night is Gone (Juggernaut Books, India)
  2. Jamil Jan Kochai: 99 Nights in Logar (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury, India & UK, and Viking, PenguinRandom House, USA)
  3. Madhuri Vijay: The Far Field (Grove Press, Grove Atlantic, USA)
  4. Manoranjan Byapari: There’s Gunpowder in the Air (Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha, Eka,Amazon Westland, India)
  5. Raj Kamal Jha: The City and the Sea (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)
  6. Sadia Abbas: The Empty Room (Zubaan Publishers, India)

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