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Writers of South Asian lives

  • Published at 06:34 pm November 11th, 2017
Writers of South Asian lives
The DSC Prize shortlist reveals its original promise: The award is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people. The shortlist includes a varied set of both established and young novelists. Here’s a brief look at their works.

Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga will steal the spotlight of this year’s DLF in many ways. His newest fiction, Selection Day, is in the shortlist of the most coveted DSC Prize. With a poignant tale of India’s worsening class inequality in The White Tiger, Adiga won the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction. In Selection Day, Adiga again captures the voice of the underclass migrating from villages to cities. The book reveals another facet of Adiga’s remarkable talent in fiction.

Anjali Joseph

Anjali Joseph’s ability to create evocative images in fiction is exceptionally brilliant. She often takes us on a journey that is not always replete with chaotic lives but that is imbued with the ever-changing weather of the subcontinent and its humid beauty. In her debut novel, Saraswati Park, she writes about the middle-class experiences of Bombay. In her book, The Living, which is shortlisted for the DSC Prize this year, she captures the beauty of ordinary and everyday life. It’s a story of two lives woven through an engaging narrative.

Karan Mahajan

With a blend of humour, compassion and boldness, Karan Mahajan’s voice reverberates deeper into his readers. In his debut novel, Family Planning, he narrates the life of an Indian politician named Rakesh. His humorous account deals with desire, corruption, noise and pollution. His latest novel, The Association of Small Bombs, brings out perspectives of bomb-attack victims as well as its perpetrators in the Delhi of 1996. Mahajan’s is a sprawling account of humanity, struggling its way out amid fanatic strikes of terrorism. Small Bombs is shortlisted for this year’s DSC Prize.

Anuk Arudapragasam

Anuk Arudapragasam embarked on the literary scene with his debut novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage. The story recounts events from a single day and night of Dinesh, one of thousands of refugees fleeing towards the coast, during the final stages of the Srilankan Civil War. The book has a movingly vivid narrative. Shortlisted for the DSC Prize 2017, it was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Wall Street Journal.

Stephen Alter

Author of eighteen books of fiction and non-fiction, Stephen Alter is a big name in the literary world. His fiction, In the Jungles of the Night: A novel about Jim Corbett, published by Aleph in 2016, is shortlisted for the DSC Prize 2017. It narrates the life of Jim Corbett, the famous hunter and naturalist who was also one of the first wildlife photographers to capture images of large predators in their natural habitat. Alter won the 2016 Kekoo Naoroji Award for Himalayan Literature for his non-fiction, Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime.
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