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Manoranjan Byapari, Perumal Murugan on JCB Prize for Literature longlist for third time

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | September 02, 2023 12:45 PM

NEW DELHI: The jury for the Rs 25-lakh JCB Prize for Literature has unveiled the longlist of the much-anticipated award's sixth edition.

From entries sent by authors from 24 cities, writing in eight languages, including English, the longlist has been narrowed down to four translations from Bengali, Hindi and Tamil, along with six books originally written in English.

West Bengal MLA and Dalit activist Manoranjan Byapari, who's a former convict and rickshaw puller, and Tamil author and scholar Perumal Murugan, who is on the International Booker Prize 2023 longlist, have been longlisted for the third time for the JCB Prize.

Tanuj Solanki, acclaimed young novelist and founder of the Bombay Literary Magazine, joins the list for the second time. Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, who was longlisted for the prize as an author in the past, returns to the list as a translator for Manoj Rupda's Hindi book. This is Hansda's first-ever translation of a book.

Three debutants have also made it to the longlist. They are Geeta Chaturvedi (it is also her translator Anita Gopalan's first foray into translation); Tejaswini Apte-Rahm; and Bikram Sharma.

Urdu writer and Jamia Millia Islamia professor Khalid Jawed won the Prize last year for 'The Paradise of Food', translated from the Urdu by Baran Farooqi.

For the 2023 Prize, the jury, chaired by author, travelogue writer and translator Srinath Perur, consists of Mahesh Dattani, well-known playwright and stage director; Somak Ghoshal, author, critic and learning designer; Kavery Nambisan, author and surgeon; and Swati Thiyagarajan, conservation journalist and filmmaker.

Recounting his experience, jury chair Srinath Perur said: "The jury read the entries over the last few months, meeting online every couple of weeks. We read for freshness, relevance, accomplishment and ambition among other things. And we read for pleasure."

The complete longlist for 2023 includes:

'The Secret of More' by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm;
'The Nemesis' by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by V. Ramaswamy;
'The East Indian' by Brinda Charry;
'Simsim' by Geet Chaturvedi, translated from the Hindi by Anita Gopalan;
'Fire Bird' by Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Janani Kannan;
'Everything the Light Touches' by Janice Pariat;
'Mansur' by Vikramajit Ram;
'I Named My Sister Silence' by Manoj Rupda, translated from the Hindi by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar;
'The Colony of Shadows' by Bikram Sharma; and
'Manjhi's Mayhem' by Tanuj Solanki.

The shortlist of five titles will be unveiled on October 20. The winner will be declared on November 18 and will receive a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Each of the five shortlisted authors will also receive Rs 1 lakh; if the shortlisted work is a translation, the translator will get Rs 50,000.




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