Deepa Anappara, Annie Zaidi, Hareesh feature in JCB prize shortlist

Debut novels from women authors dominated the JCB Prize for Literature shortlist for 2020 that was announced on Friday.

Among the five shortlisted books, three have been penned by women first time writers.

The shortlisted books include Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (read review), These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light by Dharini Bhaskar, and Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi (reviewed here).

The list also features a translation work S. Hareesh's Moustache (read review), which has been translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil, and Samit Basu's Chosen Spirits (reviewed here).

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Now in its third edition, the Prize carries an amount of ₹25 lakh and is awarded each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer. It is the most expensive Indian award for writing.

This year's jury has been chaired by author and professor Tejaswini Niranjana. Other members include writer Aruni Kashyap, playwright and director Ramu Ramanathan and Deepika Sorabjee, who is the head of arts and culture portfolio at the Tata Trusts.

According to Niranjana, all the shortlisted books share the "ability to pull out tendencies from our contemporary socio-political world in India and represent them through intriguing characters, sparkling dialogue, and accomplished narration".

“Time past and time present are projected into possible futures as the writers weave their intricate plots. Whether it's a farm or a basti, a hospital or a housing society, the locales teem with characters that demand our attention and arouse our curiosity.”

“Here we have some of the best fiction published in this tumultuous year,” she said.

Each of the five shortlisted authors will receive ₹1 lakh; if a shortlisted work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional ₹50,000.

The winner of the ₹25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature will be announced on November 7. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional ₹10 lakh.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:15:06 PM |

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