One of the most prestigious literary awards in South Asia announced its shortlist of five novels for 2017 at the London School of Economics and Political Science on Wednesday. Established in 2010, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature comes with a cash prize of $25,000 and includes literary heavyweights like Jhumpa Lahiri and Jeet Thayil as past winners.
Narrowing down the longlist of 13 novels announced on August 10, Ritu Menon, chairperson of the five-member jury, said it was a unanimous decision. “All five display a remarkable skill in animating current universal preoccupations in unconventional idioms, and from a distinctively South Asian perspective,” she said.
The shortlist features a mix of established names such as Aravind Adiga and Stephen Alter, as well as debut author Anuk Arudpragasam, whose acclaimed novel The Story of a Brief Marriage is set in the last days of the Tamil-Sinhala conflict in Sri Lanka. The shortlisted titles, written by three Indian writers, one Sri Lankan writer (Arudpragasam) and one American writer based in India (Alter) are:
- Anjali Joseph: The Living (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, UK)
- Anuk Arudpragasam: The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta Books, UK)
- Aravind Adiga: Selection Day (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India)
- Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs (Chatto & Windus, UK)
- Stephen Alter: In the Jungles of the Night (Aleph Book Company, India)
The winner will be announced at the Dhaka Literary Festival, Bangladesh on November 18, 2017.