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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

2021 JCB Prize for Literature longlist is announced

This year’s list has six debut authors and three works of translation

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | New Delhi |
September 6, 2021 2:33:47 pm
jcb longlistThe annual JCB Prize, which was launched in 2018 and comes with a prize money of Rs 25 lakh, is awarded to a notable work of fiction by an Indian author. (Source:

The longlist of the 2021 JCB Prize for Literature, selected by a jury comprising author and literary translator Sara Rai, designer and art historian Annapurna Garimella, author and translator Shahnaz  Habib, writer and podcaster Amit Varma and journalist-editor Prem Panicker, was announced on September 6.

The 10 novels on the longest are What We Know About Her by Krupa Ge (Westland), Anti-Clock by VJ James (Penguin Random House; English translation by Ministry S), Name Place Animal Thing by Daribha Lyndem (Zubaan Publishers), A Death in Sonagachhi by Rijula Das (Pan Macmillan), The Plague Upon Us by Shabir Ahmed Mir (Hachette), Gods and Ends by Lindsay Pereira (Penguin Random House), The Dharma Forest by Keerthik Sasidharan (Penguin Random House), Asoca by Irwin Allan Sealy (Penguin Random House), Delhi: A Soliloquy by M Mukundan (Westland; translated from Malayalam by Fathima EV and Nandakumar K) and The Man Who Learnt to Fly but Could Not Land by Thachom Poyil Rajeevan (Hachette; translated from Malayalam by PJ Mathew).

The annual JCB Prize, which was launched in 2018 and comes with a prize money of Rs 25 lakh, is awarded to a notable work of fiction by an Indian author. As India’s richest literary prize, apart from the winner, the five shortlisted authors each receive Rs 1 lakh. If the winning work is a translation, the translator is awarded Rs 10 lakh in addition to the prize money, while a shortlisted work of translation fetches the translator Rs 50,000.

Six out of 10 authors on the longlist this year — Rijula Das, Krupa Ge, Daribha Lyndem, Shabir Ahmed Mir, Lindsay Pereira and Keerthik Sasidharan — are debutants, while three of the works are English translations of Malayalam works. A Kerala Sahitya Akademi winner for Nireeshwaran (2017), James also won the first OV Vijayan Award and the Thikkurissi Award for Anti-Clock in 2019. Ge had earlier published a work of non-fiction, Rivers Remember: The Shocking Truth of a Manmade Flood (Context, 2019).

The shortlist of the Prize will be announced on October 4, while the winner of this year’s JCB Prize will be declared on November 13. Malayalam writer S Hareesh had won the prize in 2020 for the translation of his novel Moustache (HarperCollins; translated by Jayasree Kalathil).

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