The JCB Prize for Literature shortlist (Left to right) Tejaswini-Apte-Rahm, Manoj Rupda, Perumal Murugan, Manoranjan Byapari, Vikramjit Ram, V. Ramaswamy, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar. (Image by Arrangement)
Two originals and three translations, namely, The Secret of More by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm (Aleph Book Company, 2022), The Nemesis by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by V. Ramaswamy (Westland Books, 2023), Fire Bird by Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Janani Kannan (Penguin Random House India, 2023), Mansur by Vikramajit Ram (Pan Macmillan India, 2022) and I Named my Sister Silence by Manoj Rupda, translated from the Hindi by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (Westland Books, 2023), have been short-listed for the prestigious JCB Prize for Literature. It is a whopping Rs 25-lakh award presented each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian author. Jury members include Srinath Perur, Somak Ghoshal and Kavery Nambisan.
Tejaswini Apte and Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar's works are debuts in their own categories.
The winner is set to be announced on November 18.
If the winning entry is a translation, the translator will be presented with an additional cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
Moreover, each of the five authors on the shortlist are awarded Rs 1 lakh, and if the shortlisted piece is a translation, the translator receives Rs 50,000.
Commenting on the shortlist, the chair of the 2023 jury, Srinath Perur said, "In our shortlist meeting we reluctantly set out to eliminate five books from the longlist of ten. It turned out that every book on the longlist was a serious shortlist candidate for at least one jury member. But in the end there were exactly five books that all five of us wanted on the shortlist. None of the books was easy to let go of, and those that made the cut did so by the jury's unanimous decision."
This is the sixth edition of this prize.