Three debut novelists are among the 11 writers who have made it to the first stage of the 2016 DSC Prize.
The longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 was announced on Friday at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi, India.
The $50,000 annual prize is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world. It is awarded to an original or translated English novel and is open for writers of any nationality and ethnicity as long as their writing is about South Asia and its people.
According to the DSC Prize website, the 2016 longlist consists of 11 books written by a mix of established and first-time novelists:
1 Aatish Taseer for The Way Things Were
2 Akhil Sharma for Family Life
3 Amit Chaudhuri for Odysseus Abroad
4 Anuradha Roy for Sleeping on Jupiter
5 K.R. Meera for Hang Woman
6 Minoli Salgado for A Little Dust on the Eyes
7 Mirza Waheed for The Book of Gold Leaves
8 Monica Byrne for The Girl in the Road
9 Neel Mukherjee for The Lives of Others
10 Raj Kamal Jha for She Will Build Him A City
11 Sandip Roy for Don’t Let Him Know
Each year, the DSC Prize is awarded by an international jury of writers, journalists and academics. The 2016 jury panel includes renowned journalist Mark Tully, Open University UK’s professor emeritus Dennis Walder, literary coordinator Karen Allman, University of Colombo professor Neloufer de Mel, and Bangladeshi writer Syed Manzoorul Islam.
Pre-order a copy of Papercuts print magazine’s Vol 14 Home Is Not A Place to read an exclusive interview with Aatish Taseer
Tully, who announced the longlist at the announcement ceremony, said, the longlisted novels vary widely in content and in style and represent all of South Asia.
“They cover all the countries of South Asia,” Tully said. “I am particularly happy that there are novels from the small states of North East India – states which do not get adequate attention from the rest of the country.”
Even though Aatish Taseer has ties with Pakistan, Pakistani English novelists, two of whom (Kamila Shamsie and Bilal Tanweer) made it to the 2015 shortlist, failed to reach the longlist this year.
Order a copy of Papercuts print magazine Vol 13 Metropolis now to read a conversation with Amit Chaudhuri
He said the DSC Prize includes translated novels written in South Asian languages.
“This is most important for the fulfilment of the prize’s ambition to show the best of South Asian writing to the world,” Tully said.
The DSC Prize was founded in 2010 by Surinder Narula and Manhad Narula. For its award ceremony, it was associated with the Jaipur Literature Festival for the first five years of its existence.
However, starting with the 2016 prize, the award ceremony “will be held in various South Asian countries by rotation,” according to the DSC Prize website. The winner of the DSC Prize 2016 will be announced at the Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka on January 16th, 2016.
Related reading on the DWL Blog: Fatima Shakeel’s review of The Girl in The Road by Monica Byrne, longlisted for the 2016 DSC Prize
Prior to the award ceremony, the jury will announce a shortlist on November 26 at the London of School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).
Previously the award has been won by H M Naqvi for Home Boy, Shehan Karunatilaka for Chinaman, Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis, Cyrus Mistry for Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer, and Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland.
You can also read our previous coverage of the DSC Prize here.