The $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 is bagged by Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam for his “The Story of a Brief Marriage”. The title is a touching tale of a young man trapped on the frontlines between the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers.
Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith presented the award to Arudpragasam at the magnificent Bangla Academy during the closing ceremony of the three-day long Dhaka Literature Festival.
Arudpragasam announced he would donate one-third of the prize money to the organisations working in northeast Sri Lanka, to the cause of Rohingya Muslims and to those providing succour to Muslims in Kashmir. “I am young and currently pursuing my Ph.D. I hope to return to Sri Lanka and become a professor if I cannot become a full-time writer. I had a wonderful literary agent and I got lucky perhaps in publishing very easily. But I really hope more and more people read this novel to explore the depths of tragedy that people in Sri Lanka have gone through,”says Arudpragasam.
“The jury met and discussed the shortlisted novels in detail. As all the shortlisted novels had considerable strengths and remarkable literary quality, deciding the winner was not an easy task. However, the jury agreed that Anuk Arudpragasam was the best possible choice for his outstanding novel, “The Story of a Brief Marriage”. The novel is impressive for its intensity and rich detail and for exploring the tragic heart of war with such quiet eloquence. It is also a testament to the redemptive power of love, and to the human spirit’s capacity for hope,” said jury chair Ritu Menon