More and more writers and publishers based outside of South Asia are writing and publishing about the region, recent trends show.
Presenters of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature say that this year, of the 60 plus eligible entries received for the annual USD 25,000 award, nearly 25 per cent came in from publishers based out of the UK, the US, Australia and Canada.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was instituted in 2010 by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula to highlight and reward the immense talent that was writing about this region.
In the first couple of years a vast majority of the entries came in from publishers within the subcontinent with Indian publishers leading the way.
Eligibility for the prize is not based on the author's ethnicity or nationality and authors from any part of the world are eligible as long as the writing is about South Asia.
The presenters say this facet along with the increasing interest in writers and publishers in the South Asian region has seen the share of entries from publishers not based in South Asia grow significantly over the last seven years of the prize's existence.
The other interesting aspect is the diversity in terms of the publishers who sent in submissions for the DSC Prize this year, they say.
Apart from the well-established publishing conglomerates with multiple imprints, there were several smaller boutique publishers with niche interest in South Asian writing who participated.
In all, more than 60 eligible entries were received from 26 publishers based in 14 countries spread across four continents.
The submissions for the DSC Prize 2017 are currently being read and evaluated by a five-member international jury panel drawn not only from the South Asian region but also with representation from the UK and the US.
The jury will announce the longlist of 12 to 15 books on August 10 here and the shortlist of 5-6 books in London on September 27.
The winner will be announced on November 18 at the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh.
The presenters of the DSC Prize say that while the number of entries has grown over the years, what is interesting is the number of new writers who are writing about the region and the range of the issues that are getting written about.
Over the years the DSC Prize has received submissions from publishers which include a healthy mix of emerging and first time fiction writers apart from the well established authors who have already made their mark, they say.
The first two winners of the DSC Prize – H M Naqvi of Pakistan and Shehan Karunatilaka of Sri Lanka were awarded for their debut novels.
Other winners of the prestigious award are Jeet Thayil, Cyrus Mistry, Jhumpa Lahiri and Anuradha Roy.
In line with its South Asian essence, the DSC Prize award ceremony is held in various South Asian countries by rotation.
The winner of the DSC Prize 2015 was announced in Jaipur, while the winner of the prize in 2016 was announced at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka.
This year, it is the turn of Bangladesh.