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‘The Story of a Brief Marriage’ wins DSC Prize

'The Story of a Brief Marriage' by Anuk Arudpragasam. — AFP pic
'The Story of a Brief Marriage' by Anuk Arudpragasam. — AFP pic

NEW DELHI, Nov 21 — Anuk Arudpragasam’s story of a young man displaced by civil war in Sri Lanka was awarded the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature this weekend.

The Story of a Brief Marriage is Colombo-born Arudpragasam’s debut novel and was first released in 2016 in English.

The author, who writes in English and Tamil, is currently completing a dissertation in philosophy at Columbia University, according to the team behind the prize.

Set over a single day and night, the book’s story takes place than two decades into Sri Lanka’s devastating civil war, as the advancing army pushes the Tamil minority toward the coast. A young man named Dinesh is living in a makeshift camp of evacuees when he is approached by a man who proposes that Dinesh marry his daughter, Ganga, thrusting the couple into an unusual situation of intimacy and dependence.

Jury chair Ritu Menon said, “The novel is impressive for its intensity and rich detail, and for exploring the tragic heart of war with such quiet eloquence.”

Arudpragasam was awarded with the US$25,000 (RM103,512.50) prize this weekend at the Dhaka Lit Fest, winning out over fellow shortlistees including Anjali Joseph for The Living, Aravind Adiga with Selection Day, Karan Mahajan’s The Association of Small Bombs and Stephen Alter’s In the Jungles of the Night.

The DSC Prize, founded in 2010, recognizes authors of any ethnicity or nationality whose writing is about South Asia and its people.

Previous winners have included Anuradha Roy (Sleeping on People), Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland) and Jeet Thayil (Narcopolis). — AFP-Relaxnews

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