Madhuri Vijay’s maiden novel The Far Field fetched the 27-year-old writer this year’s JCB Prize for Literature Saturday.
Vijay’s novel narrates the experience of her protagonist Shalini through the prism of historical and socio-political themes, with an emphasis on Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality. The parallel theme of the novel is the 24-year-old’s journey to Kashmir in order to understand her deceased mother better.
— The JCB Prize for Literature (@TheJCBPrize) November 2, 2019
Apart from Vijay’s ‘The Far Field’, five authors and six books had made it to the shortlist. These included ‘Ib’s Endless Search for Satisfaction’ by Roshan Ali, There’s Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari (translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha), My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar and two of Perumal Murugan’s books — Trial by Silence and Lonely Harvest — translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan.
The JCB Prize for Literature is presented each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer, as selected by the jury. Besides filmmaker and environmentalist Pradip Krishen, the 2019 jury comprises author and critic Anjum Hasan, authors K R Meera and Parvati Sharma, and economist and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India Arvind Subramanian.
The shortlist for the year was announced on October 4 by Pradip Krishen, Chair of the 2019 jury, and Rana Dasgupta, Literary Director of the Prize, at a press conference held at Delhi’s Oxford Bookstore.
Last year, the JCB Prize for Literature was awarded to Jasmine Days by Benyamin, translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib.