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The JCB Prize for Literature’s most diverse shortlist in its 5th year


New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANSlife) In its fifth year, the JCB Prize for Literature announced the 2022 Shortlist at an exclusive gathering of writers, translators, and the city’s literary community at the Glenburn Penthouse in Kolkata. Each year, the jury chooses a notable work of fiction by an Indian author to receive the JCB Prize for Literature. At the occasion in Kolkata, the Jury Chair, AS Panneerselvan, revealed the Shortlist. Two debut novelists are represented on the list of shortlisted books, which include translations from five different languages, including Urdu, Hindi, Bangla, Malayalam, and Nepali. After the reveal, Sandip Roy, Jayant Kriplani, and Paramita Saha read selections from the selected books.

The shortlisted novels are:

Imaan by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha (Eka)
The Paradise of Food by Khalid Jawed, translated from the Urdu by Baran Farooqi (Juggernaut)
Valli by Sheela Tomy, translated from the Malayalam by JayasreeKalathil (Harper Perennial)
Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell (Penguin Random House India)
Song of the Soil by ChudenKabimo, translated from the Nepali by Ajit Baral (Rachna Books)

Commenting on the shortlist, the chair of jury 2022, AS Panneerselvan said, “Judging literature is a challenge. From exploring new content and deploying various literary devices, authors constantly try to push the boundary. Every step is crucial and every innovation is precious. However, when the final evaluation happened, these wonders of the mind gave space to the power of the heart, where empathy became the criteria for creating the shortlist. All the novels in the shortlist exemplify the idea of empathy, concern for fellow humans, and in a sense a worldview in which the head does not subsume the heart.”

The JCB Prize titles are present across bookstores in the country and is also available in an online store on Amazon. Pragya Sharma, Director, Media Business, Amazon India said, “We at Amazon are delighted to be associated with the JCB Prize for Literature since its inception. Together, we are committed to nurturing the passion for reading in the country. India is home to many different languages and diverse cultures that produce a plethora of high-quality literature. The JCB Prize has consistently, over the last 5 years, been a trustworthy & prestigious source for recognizing these distinguished works of fiction by Indian writers and Amazon India is excited to bring these gems to readers across the country and beyond.”

With the winner to be decided next month, Mita Kapur, Literary Director, said, “The fact that in the 5th year of the JCB Prize for Literature we have the most diverse shortlist yet, fills us with hope. This is a list that brings forth the many Indias across time and geography. This is truly representative of the spectrum of languages, authors and publishers that make up our industry, but most of all it represents the quality of excellent writing that India has to offer.”

Speaking of the award, the translator of any shortlisted book will also receive an additional Rs 50,000 in addition to the Rs 1 lakh each of the five shortlisted authors will receive. On November 19, 2022, the Rs. 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature winner will be revealed. A further Rs 10 lakh will be given to the translator if their work is chosen as the winning entry.

(IANSlife can be contacted at [email protected])


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