Seven women authors and equal numbers of debut novelists figure in the longlist of the prestigious DSC prize for south Asian literature. Comprising three translated works from Malayalam, Tamil and Bengali, the Rs longlist' was unveiled by chair of the jury panel Harish Trivedi at a special event at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi.
The US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which is now in its ninth year, highlights the growing diversity and the power of new writing in the South Asian literary landscape. The longlist reflects growing focus on South Asian themes in literature as many of the selected authors are based outside the region. This includes an American writer without any South Asian ethnic roots.
The DSC Prize, administered by the South Asian Literature Prize & Events Trust, received a record 90 eligible entries this year from 42 publishers and 55 imprints from across the globe. The five member international jury panel diligently adjudicated on these to select a longlist of 15 novels.
The longlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 are: Akil Kumarasamy: Half Gods (Farrar, Straus" & Giroux, USA) Amitabha Bagchi: Half the Night is Gone (Juggernaut Books, India)" Devi S. Laskar: The Atlas of Reds and Blues (Counterpoint Press, USA)" Fatima Bhutto: The Runaways (Viking, Penguin Random House, India, and Viking, Penguin Random" House, UK) Jamil Jan Kochai: 99 Nights in Logar (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury, India" & UK, and Viking, Penguin Random House, USA) Madhuri Vijay: The Far Field (Grove Press, Grove Atlantic, USA)" Manoranjan Byapari: There's Gunpowder in the Air (Translated by Arunava Sinha, Eka, Amazon" Westland, India) Mirza Waheed: Tell Her Everything (Context, Amazon Westland, India)" Nadeem Zaman: In the Time of the Others (Picador, Pan Macmillan, India)" Perumal Murugan: A Lonely Harvest (Translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, Penguin Books, Penguin" Random House, India) Rajkamal Jha: The City and the Sea (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)" Sadia Abbas: The Empty Room (Zubaan Publishers, India)" Shubhangi Swarup: Latitudes of Longing (HarperCollins, HarperCollins, India)" T. D. Ramakrishnan: Sugandhi alias Andal Devanayaki (Translated by Priya K. Nair, Harper Perennial," HarperCollins, India) Tova Reich: Mother India (Macmillan, Pan Macmillan, India)"
Speaking on the occasion, Harish Trivedi, Chair of the jury commented, "We read 90 novels at the average rate of one a day — an exhilarating, enlightening and humbling experience. Some of the novels we read narrated the nation. Some others explored individual subjectivities and yet aligned them to a broader social and political reality. Some grabbed us by the throat not so much for what they were saying but for how they said it.
"The jury will now further evaluate the longlisted entries over the next month and the shortlist of 5 or 6 books for the DSC Prize 2019 will be announced on 6th November, 2019 at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) in London. Thereafter the jury would meet to arrive at the final winner that would be announced at a special Award Ceremony on December 16 at the IME Nepal Literature Festival in Pokhara in Nepal.
Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize said, "I would like to thank the international jury panel for going through all the entries and coming up with such an excellent longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019.
Each of the 15 longlisted books vividly bring out the changing nuances of South Asian life and the effect that globalization has had in this region. I am delighted to see the strong presence of debut novelists, women writers and translations on this list as well as voices from beyond the region writing about South Asia. This is a strong endorsement of our vision for the prize, as over the last nine years, it has been able to showcase the immense and diverse talent writing about this region and present it to readers across the world. "