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February 3, 2013

Thayil wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

dsc_prize1|By Benedicte Page

Indian writer Jeet Thayil has won the third DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, worth $50,000, for his debut novel Narcopolis (Faber).

Chair of the prize jury K Satchidandan, praised the “extreme verbal artistry and lyrical intensity” of the winning novel, set in Bombay in the 1970s and also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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January 23, 2012

Rushdie: ‘I was lied to over assassination plot’

23.01.12 | Benedicte Page and Katie Allen

Salman Rushdie has expressed his “outrage” following a report in The Hindu that claims that his personal safety would be under threat if he attended the Jaipur Literary Festival were invented by Rajasthan police.

Rushdie withdrew from the Festival last week, saying he had been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld might be heading to Jaipur to attack him.

“While I have some doubts about the accuracy of this intelligence, it would be irresponsible of me to come to the Festival in such circumstances,” he said, in a statement announcing his withdrawal from the event.

But on Twitter this weekend he described himself as “outraged and very angry” after investigating the claims made in The Hindu and finding that he had been lied to by Rajasthan police. The Rajasthan government has denied Rushdie’s charge, calling it “baseless”, according to a BBC report.

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October 28, 2011

DSC South Asian Literature Prize and Festival Come of Age

Jon Slack, Surina Narula, Bhavit Mehta

A literary prize for fiction with South Asian themes or characters is worth $50,000 and has earned support and recognition from international publishers and agents.

By Roger Tagholm

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature continues to grow in stature. The original idea to establish and fund a major prize came from DSC owners Manhad and Surian Narula. Two of the prize’s organizers, Jon Slack and Bhavit Mehta, are to be congratulated for adding the DSC South Asian Literary Festival — an 18-day celebration involving 80 authors, 17 venues and 54 events that makes sorting out the traffic on Delhi’s fabulously busy Chandni Chowk seem easy.

With continuing high-level funding from DSC, an Indian infrastructure and construction company, the prize’s rise up the literary calendar is easy to see. This was was evidenced this week by the high-profile turn-out for Monday night’s announcement of the shortlist at London’s Globe Theatre, which saw many leading agents and publishers in attendance. Yes, there were quibbles about the length of the event, and proceedings were hampered by one or two technical hiccups, but this is only the prize’s second year and the overriding sense is of a prize moving in the right direction, buoyed up by authors, publishers and agents who want to see it succeed.

The DSC prize is unusual in that the ethnicity of the authors does not matter. In a rather moving address, Surina Narula, whose husband owns DSC, remarked on the number of countries in which she has lived and noted: “In my experience, people are the same underneath.”

“You don’t have this kind of prize in Asia,” said Kishwar Desai, who was there with her husband, the economist Lord Desai. She is the author of Witness the Night, one of the long-listed titles and the winner of the Costa First Novel Award earlier this year. “Publishers from all over the world are eligible for this, so you have a much bigger pool of books,” she said. “It’s encouraging people to write about Asia.”

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October 25, 2011

Shortlist revealed for South Asian Lit prize

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25.10.11 | Lisa Campbell

The six shortlisted books competing to win 2012’s $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature have been unveiled.

They are: U R Ananthamurthy’s Bharathipura, translated by Susheela Punitha (OUP, India); Chandrakanta’s A Street in Srinagar yranslated by Manisha Chaudhry (Zubaan Books, India); Usha K R’s Monkey-man (Penguin/Penguin India); Shehan Karunatilaka’s Chinaman (Random House, India); and Tabish Khair’s The Thing About Thugs (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins-India). The list is completed by Kavery Nambisan’s The Story that Must Not Be Told (Viking/Penguin India).

The prize, established to recognise great work from the South Asian region, is in its second year and the books were whittled down from 16 to six.

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