Amit Chaudhuri, Farooqui in contention for Asian literature prize

October 26th, 2010 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, October 26 (IANS) The search for the first winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has narrowed down to six books, from an initial list of 16.

The six books are “The Immortals” by Amit Chaudhuri, “The Story of a Widow” by Musharraf Ali Farooqui, “Atlas Of Unknowns” by Tania James, “The Immigrant” by Manju Kapur, “A Life Apart” by Neel Mukherjee, and “Home Boy” by H.M. Naqvi, a statement released by the DSC South Asian Literature Festival said here Tuesday.

The list was announced at a gala dinner at London’s prestigious Globe Theatre by the jury, chaired by Nilanjana S. Roy. It comprised Matthew Evans, Ian Jack, Amitava Kumar and Moni Mohsin.

The prize carries a purse of of $50,000.

“The criteria, while finalising the six novels, was DSC’s mandate to look for the best and the most interesting examples of the contemporary novel set in, or about, South Asia. As we argued the merits of the final contenders, all of us rediscovered the pleasures of reading,” chairperson of the jury Nilanjana S. Roy said.

“Moni Mohsin was impressed by the rich variety of experiences that one gets from these novels while Ian Jack felt that South Asian novel has found its voice,” she said.

For Lord Matthew Evans, “reading the novels was a welcome reminder of how much things had changed from the era when Britain and America exported books to India and Pakistan.”

“With a rising publishing industry in South Asia, what we are now seeing is knowledge and creative thinking being exported to other parts of the world,” Amitava Kumar said.

The winner will be declared at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011.

Manhad Narula, director of DSC Limited, said shortlisting the six books out of the 16 was not an easy task.

The initiative for setting up the prize was guided by an international advisory committee comprising Surina Narula, M.J. Akbar, Urvashi Butalia, Tina Brown, William Dalrymple, Meghnad Desai, David Godwin, Senath Walter Perera, Nayantara Sehgal and Michael Worton.

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