Jury members, Longlist for DSC Prize for South Asian Literature announced

DSC South Asian Literature Festival announced


24th September 2010: Fuelling the growing anticipation for the prestigious US$ 50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, leading infrastructure firm DSC Limited has announced the names of the five eminent Jury members. The jury then announced the 14 longlisted entries for the prize.

The jury for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature include internationally acclaimed literary figures, Lord Matthew Evans, Ian Jack, Amitava Kumar, Moni Mohsin, and Nilanjana S Roy (Chairperson).

The 14 longlisted entries, selected from amongst numerous entries received from around the world, includes an eclectic mix of writers who are expected to dominate the literary scene of South Asia in the years to come. The Longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature comprises: Upamanyu Chatterjee: Way To Go  (Penguin), Amit Chaudhuri: The Immortals (Picador India), Chandrahas Choudhury: Arzee the Dwarf (HarperCollins), Musharraf Ali Farooqui: The Story of a Widow (Picador India), Ru Freeman: A Disobedient Girl  (Penguin/ Viking), and Anjum Hassan: Neti Neti (IndiaInk/ Roli Books).

The other names are: Tania James: Atlas of Unknowns (Pocket Books), Manju Kapur: The Immigrant (Faber & Faber), Daniyal Muennuddin: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Bloomsbury),    Neel Mukherjee: A Life Apart (Constable & Robinson), HM Naqvi: Home Boy (HarperCollins), Salma: The Hour Past Midnight (Zubaan, translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom), Sankar: The Middleman (Penguin, translated by Arunava Sinha), Ali Sethi: The Wish Maker (Penguin), Jaspreet Singh: Chef (Bloomsbury), and Aatish Taseer: The Temple Goers (Viking Penguin).

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Surina Narula, MBE, said, “South Asian Literature is at a crucial standpoint with a potential for tremendous growth. At DSC we believe that Literature is the yarn that binds our society and its people. After the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the DSC South Asian Literature Festival are seamless extensions of our vision to promote literature that cuts across regional divides. We received overwhelming response to our call for entries and we are proud to have such distinguished Jury members and participants associated with our endeavour.”

The Jury for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will deliberate on the Longlist and then go on to announce 5 selected works as the Shortlist at the DSC South Asian Literature Festival, scheduled to be held in UK at the end of October. The winner of the first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will be declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011. The prize will be awarded for the best work of fiction pertaining to the South Asian region, published in English, including translations into English.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson of the Jury, Nilanjana S Roy said, "What makes the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature unique is its recognition of the distances – geographical and emotional – that South Asian fiction has spanned in the last few decades. By opening up the category of South Asian fiction to authors regardless of nationality, the Prize has created a far more interesting way of reading fiction from and about the region than we’ve ever seen before.”

She further added, “My experience as a member of the jury this year has convinced me that the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature works well for writers, but that it will ultimately function as an essential reading list for anyone who has an interest in Asian culture, politics, history and fiction. We began our reading as members of the jury with an unspoken question in our minds: is there such a thing as "Asian writing", or "the Asian novel"? The answers to that question are fascinating, for readers and writers alike.”

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is 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. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is unique since it is not ethnicity driven in terms of the author’s origin and is open to any author belonging to any part of the globe as long as the work is based on the South Asian region and its people.

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As a part of its literary initiatives, DSC Limited also announced its association as the title sponsor for the DSC South Asian Literature Festival, a premier festival in Britain showcasing the diverse literary and cultural traditions of the South Asian region. The DSC South Asian Literature Festival has been scheduled from 15-25 October in London and from 26-31 October in the rest of UK. Renowned authors, poets, and artists connected to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are expected to partake in the celebration of this literary extravaganza. The Festival has been envisioned to imaginatively combine South Asian literature with various other disciplines and art forms, including journalism, dance, visual art and music to explore the social, political and cultural issues that are shaping today’s world

Confirmed participation has already been received from eminent personalities in the literary and cultural fraternity including Fatima Bhutto, Amit Chaudhuri, Lord Meghnad Desai, Farrukh Dhondy, Romesh Gunesekera, Mohammed Hanif, Nayantara Sahgal, Michael Wood to name only a few.

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