South Asian Literature 2016 shortlist revealed

South Asian Literature 2016 shortlist revealed

Penguin Random House has three titles shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 which reflects “the variety and vigour” of South Asian fiction writing and writing about South Asia.

In competition for the $50,000 (£33,000) prize are: R Meera for Hang Woman (Translated by J Devika; Penguin, India); Mirza Waheed for The Book of Gold Leaves (Viking/Penguin India); Neel Mukherjee for The Lives of Others (Vintage/Penguin Random House, UK), along with Akhil Sharma for Family Life (Faber & Faber, UK); Anuradha Roy for Sleeping on Jupiter (Hachette, India); and Raj Kamal Jha for She Will Build Him A City (Bloomsbury, India).

The six-strong shortlist was revealed after a welcome address from the director of the South Asia Centre Dr Mukulika Banerjee, judged by a panel of five members. Chair of the jury was Mark Tully, a journalist with over 40 years’ experience commentating on issues affecting the South Asian region. The other judges were Dennis Walder, emeritus professor of literature at the Open University, Karen Allman, a bookseller and literary coordinator based out of Seattle, Neloufer de Mel, senior professor of English at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka and Syed Manzoorul Islam, a Bangladeshi writer, translator, critic and academic.

Tully 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."

Co-founder of the DSC Prize, Surina Narula, added: "Once again tonight we have seen some of the world’s greatest authors recognised for their fantastic contributions to the genre of South Asian literature. It was a difficult process for the jury to whittle down the longlist to just six shortlisted entries; but I think they have chosen wisely. The array of talent that we continue to showcase is breathtaking and reflective of the South Asia’s changing dynamics.”

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