Indian publishers major on DSC Prize shortlist

JAIPUR, Nov 26 — Five of six novels named as finalists for the 2014 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature are Indian, as are three authors.

It was Indian writer Jeet Thayil who won in 2013 with “Narcopolis,” but these facts do not tell the whole story: Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka clinched it in 2012 for “Chinaman” and Pakistani novelist H.M. Naqvi in the Prize’s first year, 2011, for “Home Boy.”

The US$50,000 (RM160,000) prize treasures its multinational status: “Each of these winners has gone on to be published internationally and their work has reached a larger global audience which has been one of the central visions of the DSC Prize,” explains the DSC’s steering committee.

Among this year’s crop, “Goat Days” by Malayalam Indian writer Benyamin won the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012; Sri Lankan-born California resident Nayomi Munaweera is up with her Man Asian-longlisted debut.

British Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam and Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid were both previously nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with “Maps for Lost Lovers” and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” respectively.

“We chose six beautiful books from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, each a window opening onto the complexity of the South Asian experience,” said jury chair Antara Dev Sen, herself an author, journalist and editor, and daughter of Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen.

“We have half a dozen expressions of the restive edginess that emerges from the relentless friction between eternal verities, rapid change and indomitable hope.”

“We have two novels in translation and a first book by a new woman writer. We trust this shortlist offers a glimpse of the enormous power and variety of South Asian fiction.”

The 2014 DSC Prize is open to books published or translated into English in 2013.

2014 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature shortlist

“Book of Destruction” by Anand (trans. Chetana Sachidanandan; Penguin, India)

“Goat Days” by Benyamin (trans. Joseph Koyippalli; Penguin, India)

“Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer” by Cyrus Mistry (Aleph Book Company, India)

“How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” by Moshin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India)

“The Blind Man’s Garden” by Nadeem Aslam (Random House, India)

“Island of a Thousand Mirrors” by Nayomi Munaweera (Perera Hussein Publishing, Sri Lanka) — AFP-Relaxnews

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