UK-based authors Romesh Gunesekera and Kamila Shamzie are among five outstanding South Asian writers shortlisted for the fifth annual DSC Prize for Literature, South Asia’s biggest biggest literary awards.
British Sri Lankan writer Gunesekera is shortlisted for his latest work ‘Noon Tide Toll’ whilst Shamzie makes the cut for ‘A God in Every Stone’.
The shortlist was announced during a ceremony at the London School of Economics on Thursday night and also includes the Man Booker-nominated Indian author of ‘The Lowland’, Jhumpa Lahiri; Pakistani writer Bilal Tanweer (‘The Scatter Here Is Too Great’) as well as Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, author of ‘The Mirror of Beauty’.
Famed Indian writer and poet Keki N Daruwalla, the chair of judges, described the selections as “moving, challenging, and thought-provoking.”
“There were moments of great beauty in the multiple narratives and the jury was impressed by the deep structure of each book and the way characters were developed,” Daruwalla said in a statement.
Daruwalla was joined on this year’s jury by a group of judges whose backgrounds mirrored the variety of the shortlist itself: American John Freeman, former editor of Granta books; Sri Lankan academic and campaigner Professor Maithree Wickremasinghe; Founder of the Lahore Literary Festival Razi Ahmed and Michael Worton, emeritus professor at University College London.
The jury selected the finalists from 75 novels submitted for the award, a process that was both “immensely enjoyable” and something of an “ordeal”, according to Daruwalla.
The winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2015.
Watch the judges describe their reasons for choosing each of the five finalists and read excerpts from the books: