Jhumpa Lahiri and Kamila Shamsie are among five writers shortlisted for the $50,000 (£31,829) DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015.
Lahiri is shortlisted for her novel The Lowland and Shamsie for her novel A God in Every Stone (both published by Bloomsbury). They are joined by renowned Indian poet and Urdu theorist, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi for The Mirror of Beauty (Penguin Books India), as well as Pakistani authors Bilal Tanweer for The Scatter Here is Too Great (Jonathan Cape) and Sri Lankan-born British writer Romesh Gunesekera for Noontide Toll (Granta Books).
The shortlist was chosen from a longlist comprising 10 books out of a total pool of 75 initial entries.
Keki Daruwalla, chair of the DSC Prize Jury said: “It was a difficult task to zero in on a shortlist from an enjoyable, if formidable longlist. There were two first novels as well as novels by established writers and a translation. There were moments of great beauty in the multiple narratives and the jury was impressed by the deep structure of each book and the way characters were developed.”
He added: “All the novelists engaged with rich, historical and experimental traditions of storytelling. The landscape in all the novels was quintessentially South Asian. The jury was glad to find that the plots were uniformly organic and the writers did not succumb to formulaic writing. Most of the novels grappled with the socio-political realities on the ground. All of them did so in ways that were moving, challenging, and thought-provoking.”
In addition to Daruwalla, the jury panel comprised: John Freeman, author, literary critic and former editor of Granta; Maithree Wickramasinghe, a professor of English at the University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka and the University of Sussex and an expert on gender studies; Michael Worton, Emeritus Professor at University College London; and Razi Ahmed, founding director of the Lahore Literary Festival.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was co-founded in 2010 by mother-son duo Surina Narula MBE and Manhad Narula. The 2015 Prize 2015 will be awarded at the Jaipur Literature Festival on 22nd January 2015.
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