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LONGLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE DSC PRIZE FOR SOUTH ASIAN 
LITERATURE 2018



16 novels including 4 translated works in contention for the coveted prize
New  Delhi,  October  10,  2018:

The  much  anticipated  longlist  for  the  US  $25,000  DSC  Prize  for  South  Asian 
Literature 2018  was announced  today by eminent  historian and academic Rudrangshu Mukherjee, who  is the  chair of the jury panel for the distinguished prize. The longlist  of 16 novels which was unveiled  at the Oxford Bookstore  in  New  Delhi  includes  4 translated works  where  the  original  writings  were  in  Assamese,  Kannada, Tamil and Hindi. The longlist features  six women authors and three  women translators, and two outstanding debut novels that find  place alongside the works of several established writers. The longlist represents the best of South Asian fiction writing over the last year and includes submissions from a diverse mix of publishers and authors  of different backgrounds  writing on  a  wide  range  of  issues  and  themes. The novels include 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 symbolize the urgent and divisive realities of contemporary South Asian life.  Apart from authors based in South Asia there are writers based outside the region who have incisively  and evocatively brought alive the subtle nuances of  South Asian  life  and culture.  The longlist  announcement  event was  attended  by  publishers,  authors  and literary enthusiasts who welcomed the selection of the longlist. 

This year the DSC Prize, administered by the South Asian Literature Prize & Events Trust, received  88  eligible entries and the five member international jury panel diligently went through these entries to arrive at this year’s longlist of 16 novels which they feel represent the best works of fiction related to the South Asian region.

The longlisted entries contending for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 are:

Anuradha Roy: All The Lives We Never Lived (Hachette, India)
Arundhati Roy: The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness (Alfred Knopf, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Canada)
Chandrakanta: The Saga Of Satisar (Translated by Ranjana Kaul, Zubaan Books, India)
Deepak Unnikrishnan: Temporary People (Penguin Books, Penguin Random House, India)
Jayant Kaikini: No Presents Please (Translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, Harper Perennial, HarperCollins India)
Jeet Thayil: The Book Of Chocolate Saints (Aleph Book Company, India and Faber & Faber, UK)
Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire (Riverhead Books, USA and Bloomsbury, UK)
Manu Joseph: Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India)
Mohsin Hamid: Exit West (Riverhead Books, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)
Neel Mukherjee: A State Of Freedom (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)
Perumal Murugan: Poonachi (Translated by N Kalyan Raman, Context, Westland Publications, India)
Prayaag Akbar: Leila (Simon & Schuster, India)
Rita Chowdhury: Chinatown Days (Translated by Rita Chowdhury, Macmillan, Pan Macmillan, India)
SJ Sindu: Marriage Of A Thousand Lies (Soho Press, USA)
Sujit Saraf: Harilal & Sons (Speaking Tiger, India)
Tabish Khair: Night Of Happiness (Picador, Pan Macmillan, India)

Speaking  on  the  occasion,  Rudrangshu  Mukherjee,  Chair  of  the  jury  commented, “It gives  me  enormous pleasure to announce  this longlist of 16 works of fiction for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018. My fellow jurors and I read through over 80 works of fiction and then arrived at this list of 16 which we will further prune to prepare a shortlist and then finally a winner. It was an exhilarating and an exhausting exercise reading these books and then preparing this list. Exhausting because of the work involved and I don’t need to emphasize this. Exhilarating because of the plethora of extraordinary talent that we encountered. Writers were willing to experiment with form, with unusual themes and to express themselves with elegance. I encountered touching 
poignancy, wit and verve and great inventiveness. In many ways trying to judge such a talented group of writers is a  humbling experience. I am certain when we finish the entire judging process, I, at least, will emerge from it an enriched human being.”
The jury will now deliberate on the longlist over the next month and the shortlist of 5 or 6 books for the DSC Prize 2018  will be announced on 14thNovember, 2018  at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)  in  London.  Thereafter  the  jury would  meet once  again  to  arrive  at  the  final  winner  that  would  be 
announced at a special Award Ceremony to be hosted in a South Asian city.

Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize said, “I commend the jury panel for going through all the entries and coming up with such an excellent longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018. I find the longlist exciting and feel that each of the novels is a must read as they successfully bring out the nuances and challenges 
of  the  ever  evolving  South  Asian  life.  It  is  heartening  to  note  that  this  year’s longlist  of  16  novels  includes  4 translations which highlight the language diversity of the writing about this region. I am delighted that over the last eight years, the DSC Prize has been successful in its objective of bringing the immense talent writing about 
the South Asian region to a larger global audience. I would like to congratulate each of the longlisted authors and  translators,  and  wish  them  the  very  best.  Given  such  a strong longlist,  it  will  be  interesting  to  see  which books make it to the shortlist from here."

The announcement was preceded by  a special panel discussion on  Translations in South Asian Writing where eminent  translators  and  academics  Rakhshanda  Jalil  and Arunava Sinha  were in  conversation with  academic Amrita  Bhalla.  Several  relevant issues  and nuances  related  to  translations  were  discussed  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, which comprises literary luminaries drawn from diverse geographies and expertise, is solely responsible for deciding and arriving at the longlist, the shortlist and the ultimate winner and their adjudication is final.

This year’s international   jury panel includes   Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Jury  Chair, Professor of History and the Chancellor  of  Ashoka  University  and  an  internationally acclaimed historian  of  the  revolt  of  1857  in  India, 

Nandana Sen,  a writer, actor and child-rights activist and  author of six books, who has worked as a book editor, a  poetry  translator,  a  screenwriter,  and  a  script  doctor, Claire Armitstead ,  Associate  Editor,  Culture,  for  the Guardian  in London who has been a theatre critic, arts editor and literary editor, Tissa Jayatilaka, who has been the Executive Director  of  the  United  States-Sri  Lanka Fulbright  Commission  and  is  the author  of several publications  and  has  translated and  edited  many  journals,  and  Firdous  Azim, Professor  of  English  at BRAC University, Bangladesh, whose research has focused on women’s writings in the early twentieth century Bengal.

(Press Release by DSC Prize Committee)
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