THE PRESTIGIOUS DSC PRIZE FOR SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE TO ANNOUNCE SHORTLIST FOR 2015 AWARD IN LONDON
17th November 2014, London: The shortlist for the fifth annual DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 is to be announced on Thursday 27th November 2014 by co-founders and also mother and son, Mrs. Surina Narula MBE & Mr. Manhad Narula at The Shaw Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science. The ceremony will be attended by authors, publishers, London’s literati and an array of public figures associated with the South Asian diaspora.
Since its inception in 2010, the DSC Prize has significantly impacted and drawn the focus of the world towards South Asian literature and the authors writing about this region. A coveted prize of US $50,000 is presented to one author from any ethnicity or nationality provided they write about South Asia and its people. Writing in regional languages is also encouraged and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 will be awarded at the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival on 22nd January 2015, from the shortlist unveiled in London. Notable guests from previous festivals include Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and the Queen of Bhutan.
The jury for the DSC Prize this year comprises Keki Daruwalla, Indian writer and poet (Chair of the Jury); John Freeman, author, literary critic and former editor of Granta; Maithree Wickramasinghe, a professor of English at the University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka and the University of Sussex and an expert on gender studies; Michael Worton, Emeritus Professor at University College London, who has written extensively on modern literature and art; and Razi Ahmed, founding director of the annual, not-for-profit Lahore Literary Festival.
After intense reflection over the longlist comprising 10 books, out of a total pool of 75 initial entries, the eminent jury will select the shortlist for this esteemed international award.
This year’s longlist includes:
- The Scatter Here is Too Great by Bilal Tanweer
- Helium by Jaspreet Singh
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
- A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
- The Gypsy Goddess by Meena Kandasamy
- The Prisoner by Omar Shahid Hamid
- Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera
- Mad Girl’s Love Song by Rukmini Bhaya Nair
- The Mirror of Beauty by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
With a commitment to promoting South Asian writing globally, the DSC Prize has developed an array of exciting creative partnerships with various institutions, such as the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Jaipur Literature Festival, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, the Goethe Institute and the University of Delhi amongst others.
The last four years have seen winners from three different countries in South Asia – HM Naqvi from Pakistan (Homeboy, Harper Collins, India), Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka (Chinaman, Random House, India), Jeet Thayil from India (Narcopolis, Faber & Faber, London) and Cyrus Mistry from India (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer, Aleph India). Each of these winners has gone on to be published internationally and their work has reached a larger global audience, which is one of the central visions of the DSC Prize.
With an innate passion for literature and the creative arts, Mrs. Surina Narula MBE co-founded the DSC Prize in 2010. A highly-renowned charity patron, with over twenty years experience in creating and spearheading the strategic development of some of the world’s largest charities, including PLAN International, International Childcare Trust and Hope for Children, Mrs. Narula is also an accomplished entrepreneur, working in the family business, the DSC Group, an international conglomerate focused on real estate, construction, infrastructure and retail. Mrs. Narula was responsible for spearheading the launch of Ebony, India’s first department store. In 2008, Mrs. Narula was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her charitable works in India.
Surina Narula MBE and Manhad Narula commenting on the announcement said: “The overwhelming support we continue to receive from the literary community has been fantastic. The amazing richness and diversity of South Asian literature makes our mission to promote this genre so crucial.”
Surina went on to say: “As expected the standard of entries this year was remarkably high and it proved exceptionally difficult for the jury to whittle them down to a shortlist of only five or six books. Each longlisted book was unique and full of character, and in its own right each and every one deserves a place on this year’s shortlist.”