The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014 has been given to Cyrus Mistry for his novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer (Aleph Book Company, India).
Mistry becomes the second Indian to win the prize, and was awarded $50,000 and a trophy at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival.
Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer is a tale of star-crossed love within a small Parsi community.
Antara Dev Sen, the DSC Prize 2014 jury chair, said: “Cyrus Mistry’s Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer is a deeply moving book, exquisitely drawn on a small, almost claustrophobic canvas. It takes a tiny slice of life, the life of the Khandhias or corpse bearers of the Parsi community, and weaves a powerful story about this downtrodden caste we know so little about.
“A fantastic storyteller, Mistry offers a beautiful novel rich in historical detail and existential angst, gently questioning the way we look at justice, custom, love, life and death.”
The other shortlisted authors and books in contention for the 2014 DSC Prize were Book of Destruction by Anand, translated by Chetana Schidanandan (Penguin India); Goat Days by Benyamin Koyipally, translated by Joseph Koyippalli (Penguin, India); How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton, UK and India); The Blind Man’s Garden by Nadeem Aslam (Faber & Faber in the UK, Random House in India); and Nayomi Munaweera’s Island of a Thousand Mirrors (Perera Hussein Publishing, Sri Lanka).
The last three winners of the DSC Prize have been HM Naqvi from Pakistan for Home Boy (Harper Collins, India); Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka for Chinaman (Random House, India); and Jeet Thayil from India for Narcopolis (Faber & Faber).
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