Jaipur Literature Festival 2013: The DSC prize for South Asian Literature 2013 goes to Jeet Thayil for ‘Narcopolis’

Updated: Jan 26, 2013, 19:34 PM IST

Resham Sengar

Jaipur: The Man Booker prize nominee, Jeet Thayil has achieved another feat by taking home the DSC prize DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013 which was announced on the second day of the ongoing DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 by eminent Malayalam poet K Sachidanandan.

The contender for the prize were literary magnates like Jamil Ahmad for The Wandering Falcon, Tahmima Anam for The Good Muslim, Amitav Ghosh for River of Smoke, Mohammed Hanif for Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, Uday Prakash for The Walls of Delhi (translated into English by Jason Grunebaum), and JeetThayil for Narcopolis. Veteran Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore congratulated and felicitated Jeet for his euphoric win.

Exhilarated on his win, the author 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.”

Of the shortlisted authors, Jamil Ahmad and Mohammed Hanif are from Pakistan, Tahmima Anam is from Bangladesh, Amitav Ghosh, Uday Prakash and Jeet Thayil are from India, while Jason Grunebaum is from the US.

The jury for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013 was chaired by Nobel Prize-nominated writer and academician K. Satchidanandan, and other members included writer and critic MuneezaShamsie, Founder and Co-Director of Elliott Bay’s Author Reading Programme, Rick Simonson, Director of the Kathmandu Literary Jatra Suvani Singh, and cultural entrepreneur, Eleanor O’Keeffe.

The winner has been awarded with prize money of USD 50,000 for his novel ‘Narcopolis’. Narcopolis talks about the underbelly and secret history of Mumbai in the words of Jeet Thayil.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has become an important fixture in the international publishing calendar due to the significance of South Asia’s rapidly expanding book market. There were 81 entries for the prize this year, from authors and translators across India, Australia, UK, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The prize is awarded for the best work of fiction based on South Asia, published in English, including translations into English, and is not dependent on the authors’ ethnicity as long as their work focuses on South Asia.