The fifth annual 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will announced its short-list on Thursday 27th November 2014 by co-founders and also mother and son, Mrs. Surina Narula MBE & Mr. Manhad Narula at The Shaw Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Since its inception in 2010, the DSC Prize has significantly impacted and drawn the focus of the world towards South Asian literature and the authors writing about this region. A prize of US $50,000 is presented to one author from any ethnicity or nationality provided they write about the South Asian people and culture.
The winner will be announced at the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival on 22nd January 2015, from the shortlist unveiled in London. Notable guests who have attended the festivals previously include Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and the Queen of Bhutan.
This year’s longlist includes:
· Bilal Tanweer- Recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship for an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University amongst other grants, author of The Scatter Here Is Too Great
· Jaspreet Singh– Novelist, essayist, short story writer and a former research scientist, author of Helium
· Jhumpa Lahiri– Acclaimed author of The Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake, author of The Lowland
· Kamila Shamsie- Shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, author of A God in Every Stone
· Khaled Hosseini- As well as an author, is also a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, author of And the Mountains Echoed. He had earlier written The Kite Runner
· Meena Kandasamy– Poet, writer, activist and translator, author of The Gypsy Goddess
· Omar Shahid Hamid- Served with Pakistan’s Karachi police for 12 years, author of The Prisoner
· Romesh Gunesekera – Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994, author of Noontide Toll
· Rukmini Bhaya Nair- Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, as well as a guest lecturer at universities ranging from Singapore to Stanford, author of Mad Girl’s Love Song
· Shamsur Rahman Faruqi– Celebrated writer and critic, author of The Mirror of Beauty
The event is co-founded by mother son duo Ms. Surina Narula MBE and Mahnad Narula. Surina Narula is a highly-renowned international businesswoman and charity patron. She completed her MBA at the world prestigious Indian Institute of Management and enrolled in a masters course at UCL in Social Anthropology at the age of 50 before pursuing her charity projects. She had launched the family business, DSC an international, multi-faceted business conglomerate with interests in real estate, construction, hotels, retail and infrastructure, in London and had also launched India’s first retail department store Ebony. In London she owns the contemporary boutique hotel in Knightsbridge, The Exhibitionist.
Mrs. Narula has dedicated her life to promoting three important charitable initiatives on a global scale; India’s education sector, equal rights for the girl child and championing the rights of India’s impoverished street children. She is on the board of PLAN, the largest campaign for girls’ rights amongst several other charity initiatives. In 2008, Mrs. Narula was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her charitable works in India.
Surina Narula MBE and Manhad Narula commenting on the announcement said: “The overwhelming support we continue to receive from the literary community has been fantastic. The amazing richness and diversity of South Asian literature makes our mission to promote this genre so crucial.”
Surina went on to say: “As expected the standard of entries this year was remarkably high and it proved exceptionally difficult for the jury to whittle them down to a shortlist of only five or six books. Each longlisted book was unique and full of character, and in its own right each and every one deserves a place on this year’s shortlist.”