The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, now in its ninth year, will be awarding its 2019 winner at the Nepal Literature Festival in Pokhara on December 16.

The US $25,000 international literary prize, focused on South Asian fiction writing, is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and its people.

The winners are announced at a different South Asian country every year by rotation. The 2016 winner was announced at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka, the 2017 winner was awarded at the Dhaka Lit Fest in Bangladesh, and the 2018 DSC Prize was presented at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet in India. This year the prize is travelling to Nepal where the ninth winner will be announced.

Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature said, “We are delighted to partner with the Nepal Literature Festival to announce the winner of 2019 in the picturesque city of Pokhara in December. Both the prize and the festival share a common vision to promote and highlight South Asian literature, and there is a rich literary landscape in Nepal which I hope will benefit from this partnership.”

Instituted by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula in 2010, the DSC Prize is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian writing.

A five-member international jury panel comprising literary luminaries select the winner. The longlist of 12-15 books is announced in end September, and a shortlist of five or six books is announced in early November at the London School of Economics in London.

The Nepal Literature Festival is the only international literature festival in the country that has given space to diverse and competing ideas and unheard voices. Started in 2011, the festival has seen participation of writers from South Asia and beyond, namely, Ned Beaman, Mark Tully, Ned Beauman, Mohammed Hanif, Carlo Pizzati, Shashi Tharoor, Farah Ghuznavi, Uday Prakash, Ramachandra Guha, Namgay Zam, Aunohita Mojumdar, Tishani Doshi, Carlo Pizzati, Matthieu Aikins, Prajwal Parajuly, Anni Zaidi, etc.

Ajit Baral, director of the Nepal Literature Festival said, “It is a great honour for us to host the announcement of the prestigious literary award.”

Past winners of the DSC Prize have been H M Naqvi of Pakistan, Shehan Karunatilaka of Sri Lanka, Jeet Thayil and Cyrus Mistry from India, American author of Indian origin Jhumpa Lahiri, Anuradha Roy from India, Anuk Arudpragasam of Sri Lanka, and Jayant Kaikini along with translator Tejaswini Niranjana of India who won the prize last year.

 

Cover photograph: The DSC Prize 2018 winning author Jayant Kaikini and translator Tejaswini Niranjana receiving the award at the prize ceremony in Kolkata.

(Photograph courtesy: The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature)

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