DSC prize for Arudpragasam

Sri Lankan writer Anuk Arudpragasam on Saturday took away the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his powerful novel The Story of a Brief Marriage.

The award was announced at the closing ceremony of the three-day Dhaka Lit Fest in the Bangladesh capital and was a fitting end to a festival that saw a record turnout in the historic Bangla Academy campus.

The book was given the award for its “intensity and rich detail,” said Ritu Menon, jury chair, who highlighted that it had been a tight contest. The other four short-listed works were equally acclaimed books — Anjali Joseph’s The Living, Aravind Adiga’s Selection Day, Karan Mahajan’s The Association of Small Bombs, and Stephen Alter’s In the Jungles of the Night.

The winning book is a tender exploration of unexpected love set in the middle of the terrible violence of the Sri Lankan civil war.

Haunting stories

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Arudpragasam spoke of how living in south Sri Lanka had relatively insulated him from the worst of the violence but how the stories and images pouring out had haunted him and prodded him into writing the book.

“The images somehow distanced me from the war, and I wanted to get close to it, to understand it,” he said.

The writer announced that he intended to give away a third of the award money of $25,000 to organisations working in northern Sri Lanka and Kashmir and for the Rohingya.

Surina Narula, who is the co-founder of the DSC Prize, said the award “remains focussed on recognising and showcasing the immense talent that is writing about the South Asian region today.”

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:10:10 PM |

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