The eagerly awaited names of shortlisted authors were announced at the renowned London School of Economics & Political Science for the US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017. Ritu Menon, along with the other four jury members – Senath Walter Perera, Steven Bernstein, Valentine Cunningham and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown had earlier announced a longlist of 13 novels at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi in August 2017.
The shortlist represents a diverse mix of established writers and young novelists fast making their mark in the South Asian literary landscape. The authors hail from different backgrounds and geographies and include three Indian writers, of which two are based outside of the South Asian region, one Sri Lankan writer and one American writer based in India. They are Anjali Joseph, Anuk Arudpragasam, Aravind Adiga. Karan Mahajan and Stephen Alter.
The winner of The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 will be announced at a special Award Ceremony at the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh on 18 November 2017. The announcement was preceded by a special panel discussion on “Literature & Film” which was moderated by Steven Bernstein who was in conversation with Gurinder Chadha, Michael Wood and Kunal Basu.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature prides itself on a thorough and transparent judging process and is modeled on global best practices. The five member international jury panel, which comprises literary luminaries drawn from diverse geographies and expertise, is solely responsible for deciding and arriving at the longlist, the shortlist and the ultimate winner and their adjudication is final.
This year’s international jury panel includes Ritu Menon, Jury Chair and eminent feminist writer who has commented on a wide range of gender issues affecting the South Asian region, Valentine Cunningham, Professor Emeritus of English language and Literature at Oxford University, UK who has authored several books on Victorian fiction and poetry, Steven Bernstein, celebrated screenwriter, director, author, cinematographer and lecturer based out of Los Angeles, USA, Yasmin AlibhaiBrown, respected journalist, pundit, radio and television broadcaster, based in London who has written extensively on society, culture and feminism, and Senath Walter Perera, Senior Professor in English, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka who has authored several publications on the diasporic and postcolonial literature of the region.
The US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature which was instituted by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula in 2010, is among prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian writing. It is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people. It also encourages writing in regional languages and translations and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins.
Now in its 7th year, the DSC Prize has been successful in bringing South Asian writing to a larger global audience through rewarding and showcasing the achievements of the authors writing about this region. Past winners of the DSC Prize have been H M Naqvi of Pakistan, Shehan Karunatilaka of Sri Lanka, Jeet Thayil and Cyrus Mistry from India, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Anuradha Roy from India who won the prize last year. In line with its South Asian essence, the DSC Prize Award ceremony is held in various South Asian countries by rotation.