South Asian Literature Festival in London: best fiction shortlisted for 2012 DSC Prize

Prize value of $50,000 for the best fiction about the South Asian region.

The six books shortlisted for the prize celebrating the best writing on South Asia – DSC Prize for South Asian Literature  – was announced on Monday at a prestigious gala event at London’s Globe Theatre.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature aims to acquaint readers to the richness and diversity of South Asian writing and of its myriad linguistic traditions, including those of the South Asian diaspora.

This unique international award has a prize value of $50,000 awarded for the best work of fiction pertaining to the South Asian region, published in English, including translations into English.

Long-listed authors, publishers, London’s literati, ambassadors from the South Asian region gathered together for the event, which was also the finale of the 2011 DSC South Asian Literature Festival in London, .

The Jury, chaired by Ira Pande along with renowned literary figures Dr. Alastair Niven, Dr. Fakrul Alam, Faiza S. Khan, and Marie Brenner, selected the shortlist of 6 works of fiction, all on the subject of South Asia and its people, out of a longlist of 16 books.

The shortlist of 6 books for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, 2012 is as follows:

  • U.R. Ananthamurthy: Bharathipura (Oxford University Press, India, Translated by Susheela Punitha)
  • Chandrakanta: A Street in Srinagar (Zubaan Books, India, Translated by Manisha Chaudhry)
  • Usha K.R: Monkey-man (Penguin/Penguin India)
  • Shehan Karunatilaka: Chinaman (Random House, India)
  • Tabish Khair: The Thing About Thugs (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins-India)
  • Kavery Nambisan: The Story that Must Not Be Told (Viking/Penguin India)


In January 2011, the inaugural DSC Prize was won by Pakistani author HM Naqvi for his debut novel Home Boy (HarperCollins India) which has gone on to become one of the most celebrated recent renditions on South Asia.

Following the announcement, Home Boy was acquired by Hamish Hamilton [Penguin Books] in the UK. It is now being published by Penguin in the UK and British Commonwealth, realizing one of the central visions of the prize, which is to propagate and present South Asian writing to a larger global audience.

The DSC Prize initiative has been guided by an international Advisory Committee comprising MJ Akbar, Urvashi Butalia, Tina Brown, William Dalrymple, Lord Meghnad Desai, David Godwin, Surina Narula, Senath Walter Perera, Nayantara Sehgal and Michael Worton.

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