Books from Granta, Chatto and Fourth Estate all feature on the 13-strong longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, worth $25k (£19k).
The prize aims to bring South Asian writing to a “larger global audience through rewarding and showcasing the achievements of the authors writing about this region”.
The longlist was unveiled at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi, with a “diverse mix of established writers and debut novelists from different backgrounds and geographies” including seven Indian writers, three Pakistani authors, two Sri Lankan writers and one US novelist based in India.
Three novels originally published in the UK are on the list: Anjali Joseph’s The Living, published by HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate, is up alongside The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta UK). There is also a nod for PRH imprint Chatto & Windus with The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan.
Meanwhile HarperCollins India and Penguin Random House India also dominate the longlist. HC India has five books up for the prize: The Parcel by Anosh Irani (Fourth Estate, India and Knopf Random House Canada), Aravind Adiga's Selection Day (Fourth Estate, India) and Those Children (HarperCollins, India) by Shahbano Bilgrami.
PRH India boasts four titles on the list: Ashok Ferrey’s The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons, The Poison of Love by K R Meera, translated by Ministhy S, Perumal Murugan's Pyre, translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, and This Wide Night by Sarvat Hasin.
Also vying for the award are The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid (Pan Macmillan, India) and In the Jungles of the Night by Stephen Alter (Aleph Book Company, India).
This year the prize’s five-strong international jury panel received more than 60 eligible entries.
Ritu Menon, chair of the jury said the longlist announcement gave him “enormous pleasure”. He said: “Speaking for myself it was also a great pleasure to read this year’s submissions, remarkable for their range, energy and generational sweep. As a jury, we were struck by several exceptional qualities in the novels selected: their inventiveness and creativity, both of subject matter and in literary treatment.”
He added: “And we were reminded that, although the writers’ preoccupations may be universal and their sensibility cosmopolitan, their voices are distinctly South Asian.”
The shortlist of five or six books for the prize will be announced on 27th September at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) in London.
The final winner will be revealed at a special Award Ceremony at the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh on November 18th.
Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize said: “I feel each of the novels on the longlist is a must read as they successfully bring out the nuances and challenges of the ever evolving South Asian life. I find the longlist particularly exciting as it includes some well known authors as well as new novelists who are making a mark on the South Asian literary canvas.”
She added: “The longlist of 13 novels also includes translations as well as works of authors based in different countries all of which bring in diverse perspectives and raise relevant issues. Now in its seventh year, the DSC Prize has been successful in bringing the immense talent writing about the South Asian region to a larger global audience.”
The prize is instituted by DSC Limited, an infrastructure developers in India.
For more information, visit dscprize.com.
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