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Two translations, two debut works in JCB 2019 shortlist

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 4, 2019  | 17:42 IST

New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) Translation works including Perumal Murugan's twin novels, "Trial by Silence" and "Lonely Harvest", and Manoranjan Byapari's "There's Gunpowder in the Air" are among the five books that have been shortlisted for this year's JCB Prize for Literature. Murugan's books have been translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, and Byapari's novel has been translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha. Announced on Friday, the shortlist also features two debut works -- Roshan Ali's "Ib's Endless Search for Satisfaction", and Madhuri Vijay's "The Far Field", as well as award-winning writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar's "My Father's Garden". The jury, chaired by filmmaker and environmentalist Pradip Krishen, noted that the five selected works were "bold" and shared "a deep sense of justice and injustice". "Bringing voices from across the country, these novels address the many specific difficulties of living a life in Indian society. With a combination of lyricism and humour, the five novelists portray characters who are at odds with their - very different - worlds. "Their private struggles help illuminate larger themes, including patriarchy in rural southern India, religious and political conflict in Kashmir, and social and sexual marginalization in eastern India. Taken together these novels remind us that fiction remains the most powerful way for a society to examine its fundamental concerns," Krishen said. Now in its second edition, the Prize carries an amount of Rs 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. Authors and translators of all the shortlisted titles will each be awarded Rs 1 lakh, and Rs 50,000 respectively. "This year's shortlist displays a satisfying diversity of voices, as is appropriate to the scale and variety of this country. These five books transport us to very different parts of India, and give us access to very different kinds of life. "Each of them is imbued by the spirit of its moment, which is perhaps why the shortlist has such an unsettled, turbulent flavour. But literature contains wisdom too, and the deep sense of justice in these books reminds us why, whatever our reality, we continue to care, hope and strive," Rana Dasgupta, Literary Director, said. The final winner of the 2019 JCB Prize for Literature will be announced on November 2. In case the winning entry is a translation, the translator will be awarded Rs 10 lakh. The 2018 JCB Prize for Literature was awarded to "Jasmine Days" by Benyamin, translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib and published by Juggernaut Books. PTI TRS TRS MAH MAH

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