New Delhi: Jeet Thayil, an Indian origin author of 'Narcopolis' wins the DSC Literature Prize for South Asia.
The prize carries an award of INR 2,800,000 (USD 50,000) given to one international author (or shared with their translator) who has written the best novel thematically linked to the South Asian region.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature celebrates the rich and varied world of literature of the South Asian region.
Thayil also was nominated for the Man Booker in 2012.
The USD 50,000 DSC Prize along with a unique trophy was given away by celebrated actor Sharmila Tagore at a ceremony attended by renowned literary figures and authors during the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival. Jeet Thayil won this prestigious prize for his debut novel Narcopolis (Faber & Faber London), a prime example of the fresh voices that the region is beginning to inspire and which the DSC Prize is helping bring to the fore.
A well known poet and now novelist, Thayil won the prize from a shortlist of six which also included Jamil Ahmad: The Wandering Falcon (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin India); Tahmima Anam: The Good Muslim (Penguin Books); Amitav Ghosh: River of Smoke (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin India); Mohammed Hanif: Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (Random House India); Uday Prakash: The Walls of Delhi (Translated by Jason Grunebaum; UWA Publishing, W. Australia).
The DSC Prize 2013 was judged by a diverse and distinguished Jury comprising of K Satchidanandan (Chair), Muneeza Shamsie, Rick Simonson, Suvani Singh and Eleanor O'Keeffe. The shortlist was announced in November 2012 in London.
There were 81 entries for the prize this year, comprising authors and translators across India, Australia, UK, US, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc, reflecting the importance of South Asia's rapidly expanding book market. India is currently the world's third largest English-language book market (after the USA and UK), and is set to become the largest within the next ten years (according to a BBC Report, May 2012).
Commenting on the award, K Satchidandan, the DSC Prize 2013 Jury Chair said "I am very happy about the whole process of selection for the DSC Prize, 2013. It was a pleasure to go through the 81 books, mostly novels, submitted by the publishers for the prize that offered me a peek into the life and literature of South Asia with its identity conflicts, religious fanaticisms, developmental anxieties, domestic agonies, the pains of exile, eerie underworlds, the anguish of marginalization, the traumas of modernization and globalization and the dreams of a more just and egalitarian world."
Sri Lankan author, Karunatilaka won the prize last year and Karachi-based author HM Naqvi had won the first DSC Literature Prize for South Asia for his debut novel 'Home Boy' in 2011.