Four Indian authors and two from Pakistan are in the contention for the coveted US $25,000 prize for South Asian Literature, 2018. The shortlist of six novels was announced last week by Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Chair of the DSC Prize 2018 jury panel in London at a special event at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Now in its eighth year, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focussed on South Asian fiction writing. Mukherjee along with the other four jury members Claire Armitstead, Nandana Sen, Firdous Azim and Tissa Jayatilaka had met a day prior to the event to arrive at the shortlist. The shortlist also includes a translated book where the original writing was in Kannada. The six shortlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 are: Jayant Kaikini’s No Presents Please (Translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, Harper Perennial, HarperCollins India), Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire (Riverhead Books, USA and Bloomsbury, UK), Manu Joseph’s Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India), Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West (Riverhead Books, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India), Neel Mukherjee’s A State Of Freedom (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, UK and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India), and Sujit Saraf’s Harilal & Sons (Speaking Tiger, India).
This year the prize received a record 88 entries which included stunning portrayals of migration, war and the pain of displacement, poignant love stories, the exploration of new found relationships and identities, and vivification of the personal struggles, hopes and aspirations that symbolise the urgent and divisive realities of contemporary South Asian life.