A week after the International Booker Prize was announced, the JCB longlist has been announced. In a video shared on their social media platforms, Mita Kapur the literary director of JCB Prize for Literature, and the jury consisting Tejaswini Niranjana, professor, cultural theorist, Deepika Sorabjee, head of the Arts & Culture portfolio at Tata Trusts, Aruni Kashyap, writer and translator and Ramu Ramanathan, playwright and director spoke on the criteria and the books which made the cut.
The ten books are Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, In Search of Heer by Manjul Bajaj, Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu, Undertow by Jahnavi Barua, A Ballad of Remittent Fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay (translated by Arunava Sinha), These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light by Dharini Bhaskar, A Burning by Megha Majumdar, Moustache by S Hareesh (translated by Ayasree Kalathil), Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi and The Machine is Learning by Tanuj Solanki.
View this post on Instagram
"The longlisted books this year do bring out the distinctive voice of each character and tell tales that are imaginative and powerful. The 2020 longlist provides us with fresh insights into the contemporary world we live in even if some of them are set in historical times. " The jury on the #JCBPrizeLonglist2020 . #TheJCBPrize2020 #JCBPrizeLonglist #DiscoverFiction #LiteraryPrize #IndianLiterature #IndianCulture #Author #Readers #LoveLiterature #BookLovers #Fiction @deepa.anappara @authormanjul @jahnavibarua @samitbasu @dharinibhaskar @megha.maj @ashokemukhopadhyay @tansol1986 @penguinindia @hachette_india @westland_books @alephbookco @simonandschusterin @harpercollinsin
Speaking on the selection, Kapur said that this year they expanded the scope of the prize by encouraging genre entries as well as literary fiction. They also sought out translations to include as many voices as possible. Attempts were made to reach out to established publishing houses as well as to the newer and larger list of publishers.
“If you look for a common thread…you would be hard-pressed to find one. But at the end of the day, the reason why our jury has chosen these 10 books is simple: they imagine and they are unforgettable,” she said.
“As we read through the large number of entries for this year, we established a comparative framework for evaluation which included these criteria – the texture, the plot of the narrative, how compelling the book was, its readability, the point of view of the characters and if the language of the character matches that point of view. The longlisted books this year do bring out the distinctive voice of each character and tell tales that are imaginative and powerful. The 2020 longlist provides us with fresh insights into the contemporary world we live in even if some of them are set in historical times. At the end the issue that remained with us during our final discussion was that of memorability. Whether it was the memorability of the plot itself, the memorability of the writing or that of the characters, which of these books do we remember?” she further added.
The shortlist, which will include five titles, will be announced on September 25. The winner will be declared on November 7. If a translated work wins the honour, then the translator will receive an additional ₹10 lakhs. One of the richest literary awards in the country, the prize money is ₹25 lakhs. Each of the five shortlisted authors will receive Rs 1 lakh; and in case of a translated work, the translator will receive ₹50,000.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines