The JCB longlist is out, and 10 books have made it to the list. These include Ib’s Endless Search for Satisfaction by Roshan Ali, There’s Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha, The City and the Sea by Rajkamal Jha, Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale, The Queen of Jasmine Country by Sharanya Manivannan, Trial by Silence and Lonely Harvest by Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, A Patchwork Family by Mukta Sathe, My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay and A Secret History of Compassion by Paul Zacharia.
Ali, Sathe, Mahale and Vijay are all debut authors. “We on the jury had a wonderful time discussing these books together. The longlist we have chosen is varied, but all these books do what great fiction should: they take risks, they make arguments – and they touch a magic chord, one that keeps thrumming in your head and heart long after you’ve put the book away. It’s impossible to generalise about these ten books. Indian fiction today is a richly bewildering category, and this longlist is correspondingly varied and complex. These are novels about working-class struggles and upper-class unease, historical evocations and contemporary conflicts, each written in an absolutely distinctive voice,” Pradip Krishen, chair of the 2019 jury, said.
Last year Malayalam author Benyamin had won the coveted prize for his novel Jasmine Days. The book has been translated by from Malayalam to English by Shahnaz Habib.
The winner for this year will be announced on November 2, 2019.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines