Novelist and non-fiction writer Rana Dasgupta announced the foundation of the JCB Prize for Literature, to be awarded annually to a “distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer”. Five shortlisted authors will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each, with the winner receiving Rs 25 lakh. If the winning book is a translation from an Indian language to English, the translator of the work will receive Rs 5 lakh.
Funded by the construction manufacturing group JCB, the prize has been established with the aim to “foster greater translation between Indian languages.” The prize will only accept entries made by publishers, not authors, as is the norm for most literary prizes. Publishers are allowed, per imprint, to enter two novels originally written in English and two novels translated into English from another language.
The prize will begin accepting entries from March 1 at 9.00 am IST and will close entries on May 31. The winner of the first edition will be announced on November 3. Books published, or to be published, between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018 will be eligible.
The JCB Literature Foundation was been established with the mandate of maintaining the prize’s literary standards and appointing a rotating jury of five members each year. The foundation will be headed by Rana Dasgupta, winner of the Commonwealth Prize, in his capacity as literary director.
This year’s jury will consist of Rohan Murthy, founder of the Murty Classical Library, theoretical astrophysicist and author Priyamvada Natarajan, novelist and playwright Vivek Shanbhag, translator and scholar Arshia Sattar, and filmmaker Deepa Mehta, who will chair the jury.
The jury will first announce a longlist of ten titles on September 5 and the shortlist of five titles on October 3, before the final announcement of the winner one month later.