India’s richest literary prize for fiction writing, the JCB Prize has announced this year’s longlist. Launched in 2018, the prize is aimed at recognizing a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer.
Apart from Moustache by S. Hareesh, translated by Jayasree Kalathil, the longlist also includes A Ballad of Remittent Fever: A Novel by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha. The other works of fiction that made to the list are Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, In Search of Heer by Manjul Bajaj Undertow by Jahnavi Barua, Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu, These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light by Dharini Bhaskar, A Burning by Megha Majumdar, The Machine is Learning by Tanuj Solanki (Pan Macmillan, 2020), and Prelude to A Riot: A Novel by Annie Zaidi.
Of the ten books four are debuts and two are works of translation. “The longlisted books this year bring out the distinctive voice of each character and tell tales that are imaginative & powerful, providing us with fresh insights into the contemporary world even if some of them are set in historical times.” The jury said. This years jury includes, Tejaswini Niranjana, author and professor; Aruni Kashyap, author; Ramu Ramanathan, playwright and director; and Deepika Sorabjee, head of arts and culture portfolio at the Tata Trusts.
The winner receives a prize money of ₹25 lakhs and ₹1 lakh for each of the shortlisted writers. If the winning work is a translation, the translator gets an additional₹10 lakhs, and a shortlisted translator also gets ₹50,000.
The inaugural JCB Prize went to Malayalam writer Benyamin and his English translator Shahnaz Habib for the novel Jasmine Days in 2018. Last year the prize was given to Madhuri Vijay for her novel The Far Field. The shortlist will be announced on 15 September, followed by the winner on 7 November.
"The longlisted books this year bring out the distinctive voice of each character and tell tales that are imaginative & powerful, providing us with fresh insights into the contemporary world even if some of them are set in historical times." The jury on the #JCBPrizeLonglist2020 pic.twitter.com/9WGKpb2uK8
— The JCB Prize for Literature (@TheJCBPrize) September 1, 2020