The shortlist for DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is out. And the six books include: The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay, which also won the JCB Prize for Literature; The City and the Sea by Raj Kamal Jha; Half the Night is Gone by Amitav Bagchi; There’s Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari (Translated by Arunava Sinha); The Empty Room by Sadia Abbas and 99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai.
These books have been chosen from the longlist which consisted 15 books. The prize is in its ninth year.
— The DSC Prize (@thedscprize) November 6, 2019
Harish Trivedi, chair of the jury had said, “The shortlist that we have arrived at comprises six novels – for the good reason that the five jurors, located in five different countries, could not agree on just five novels. There are two women here, and three debut novelists including both the women. What is it about writing novels that one can get it so right the very first time of asking? Three of our writers live in South Asia and three live abroad – which fact may not come as a complete surprise. There is now a South Asia beyond South Asia.
Two of the six novels are set partly in New Delhi, and partly in the surrounding countryside in one case, and in the other case partly on the Baltic coast. One of the novels is set in Pakistan of the 1970s, one in Kashmir, and one in Afghanistan. The sixth is actually set in a prison and was written originally in Bengali by an author who has actually served time and used that period to learn to read and write. That too is South Asia.”
The winner of the DSC Prize 2019 will be announced on December 16 at the IME Nepal Literature Festival in Nepal.