Jeet Thayil wins Rs 26.89 lakh prize
Poet and novelist Jeet Thayil became the first Indian on Friday to win the DSC South Asian Literature prize, now on its third edition.
Jeet’s “Narcopolis” was shortlisted from six names to bag the Rs 26.89 lakh ($50,000) DSC prize.
The prize was announced on at the ongoing DSC Jaipur Literature festival venue, Diggi Palace by celebrated actress Sharmila Tagore in the presence of renowned personalities and authors.
Thayil won the prize from a short list of six which included Jamil Ahmad: The Wandering Falcon; Tahmima Anam: The Good Muslim; Amitav Ghosh: River of Smoke; Mohammed Hanif : Our Lady of Alice Bhatti; Uday Prakash: The Walls of Delhi (Translated by Jason Grunebaum)
.The DCS Prize 2013 was judged by a diverse and distinguished jury comprising of K Satchidanandan (Chair), Muneeza Shamsie, Rick Simonson, Suvani Singh and Eleanor O’ Keeffee. The shortlisted names were announced in November, 2012 in London.
Thayil on winning the prize said: “I have been shortlisted for four times but I’ve never won a prize. It is a great honour to win such a prestigious prize. I dedicate this prize to Jamil Ahmed who is my great friend.
”Jury chairman Satchidanandan said there were 81 entries for the prize this year comprising authors and translators across India, Austrlaia, UK, US, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc., reflecting the importance of South Asia’s rapidly expanding book market.
“It was a pleasure to go through the 81 books 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 marginalizations, the traumas of modernisation and globalisation and the dreams of a more just an egalitarian world,” Satchidanandan said.
He said the novel won the prize chosen after due deliberations and the filtering processes. “I believe, the choice enhances the credibility and the prestige of the Prize itself. “Narcopolis” mixes fantasy and reality to create a powerful story that deals with a less-known aspect of the life in a metropolis like Bombay,” he added.
Instituted by DSC Limited in 2010, the DSC Prize is awarded annually for the best work of fiction inspired by the South Asian Region, people, culture and diaspora; published in English, including translation into English.