Four Indian authors make it to DSC prize

The much-anticipated shortlist for the US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 has been announced at a special event, which took place at the London School of Economics & Political Science. The DSC Prize, which is now in its ninth year, is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian fiction writing, and the shortlist represents the very best writing about the lives of the people belonging to this region.

The shortlist of six novels was formally announced by the chair of the jury panel Harish Trivedi, which was enthusiastically welcomed by publishers, authors and the literary personalities who attended the event. The shortlist comprises new and diverse voices and includes four authors of Indian origin and one author each of Pakistani and Afghan origin. It includes three debut novelists including 2 women writers, as well as a work of translation of a novel originally written in Bengali. The increasing globalization of South Asian writing is highlighted by the fact that half the shortlisted authors are based outside the region, and their work brings alive the nuances of South Asian life in the same evocative manner as done by their counterparts living in the region.

The six shortlisted novels are:

Amitabha Bagchi: Half the Night is Gone

Jamil Jan Kochai: 99 Nights in Logar

Madhuri Vijay: The Far Field

Manoranjan Byapari: There's Gunpowder in the Air (Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha, Eka)

Raj Kamal Jha: The City and the Sea

Sadia Abbas: The Empty Room

The shortlist announcement event commenced with a keynote address made by international bestselling novelist and eminent playwright Kate Mosse who spoke about the importance and impact of women in writing and publishing in South Asia, and across the world. Several issues like the need to enhance accessibility to and reward the excellence of women writers were highlighted which kept the attending audience captivated.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature prides itself on a thorough and transparent judging process and is modeled on global best practices. The 5 member international jury panel is solely responsible for deciding and arriving at the ultimate winner.

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