Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature Shortlist - 2012

Frankly, and sadly, not many people here are going to care, but the shortlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian literature has recently been announced.   If the two books I've read from the DSC Prize longlist are any indication, reading  through the six books on the recently-announced shortlist is going to be an absolute pleasure.  There's just something to be said for reading globally -- there are new authors to discover, you gain a feel for the concerns of writers in other countries, and writers come at things from different perspectives than what we're used to here. 

Here's the list:

Bharathipura, by U.R. Ananthamurthy
A Street in Srinagar, by  Chandrakanta
Monkey-man, by Usha K.R
Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka
The Thing About Thugs, by Tabish Khair
The Story that Must Not Be Told, by Kavery Nambisan

One of the books originally longlisted, Jimmy the Terrorist got left off the shortlist, but is an awesome book as well.

Reading this list along with others from the DSC Prize longlist will fill my November, and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Congratulations to the shortlisted authors, and to Omair Ahmad, congratulations for writing such a fine novel, even though it didn't make it on to the shortlist.


  1. I am one who cares! This is an area of the world I am most interested in, and hope to read more and more books by these authors.

  2. Nan -- I am very happy about your comment. You are awesome.

  3. Dear Nancy, I just read your review and this post. I'm very glad that you liked the book. It is hard to say what the book is about -- at a certain time you realise you are just telling a story, it makes a sort of sense, that it is somehow authentic to what you have observed. To get the story to tell something is not that easy!

    If anything I would suggest that Jimmy is very much about the pain of exclusion and powerlessness, and the way that people deal with their own weaknesses, inadequacies, whatever. Pretty much the quote you begin the book with.

    There is only one thing that I would have some issues -- Jimmy, to me, is not a spokesperson for anybody except his own individual experience, and even in that his version is garbled and unclear. But as a reader you have as much authority to decide on that as I! :)

    Thank you for the kind words.


  4. Thank you for your comment, and again let me say what an awesome book you've written. Okay, I'll grant that perhaps "spokesman" was not the best choice of word, and I didn't mean that he actively sought to be take on that role, but when I finished reading your book (and don't laugh), for some reason one of the first things I thought of was this speech in Paddy Chayefsky's Network to describe how I saw Jimmy at the end:

    "You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

    Again, thanks for your comments, and I hope your book does well for you.

  5. Ah, that's quite a compliment -- and yes, that is kind of what I wanted to convey, that even those very far in the margins, broken, cowardly, alone, still have a sense of self-worth and are human.

    A great pleasure that seems to have come through.

  6. Omair -- as far as the shortlist goes, in slangy, old-time American parlance -- you was robbed!


  7. I am looking for fans of new authors that are open to issuing reviews of mystery / thrillers and crime stories. My book, available at Amazon and Smashwords is
    Previous are available on Amazon and Smashwords or Google the title.



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