The JCB Prize for Literature 2020 shortlist has been announced today. The shortlist includes three debut novels among the titles to make it to the final five.
Deepa Anappara’s novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, which is being translated into more than 20 languages worldwide, leads the pickings, followed by Dharini Bhaskar’s These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light and Malayalam writer S. Hareesh’s Moustache (translated into English by Jayasree Kalathil), both of which are debut novels as well. The other two titles in the shortlist are Samit Basu’s dystopian fiction Chosen Spirits and Annie Zaidi’s Prelude to a Riot.
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“What the shortlisted books have in common is their ability to pull out tendencies from our contemporary socio-political world in India and represent them through intriguing characters, sparkling dialogue, and accomplished narration. Time past and time present are projected into possible futures as the writers weave their intricate plots. Whether it’s a farm or a basti, hospital or a housing society, the locales team with characters that demand our attention and arouse our curiosity. Here we have some of the best fiction published in this tumultuous year.” The 2020 Jury on the #JCBPrizeShortlist2020 @deepa.anappara @samitbasu @dharinibhaskar @hareesh5388 @penguinindia @hachette_india @simonandschusterin @harpercollinsin @alephbookco . . #TheJCBPrize2020 #JCBPrizeShortlist #Shortlist2020 #DiscoverFiction #LiteraryPrize #IndianLiterature #IndianCulture #Author #Readers #LoveLiterature #BookLovers #Fiction
“What the shortlisted books have in common is their ability to pull out tendencies from our contemporary socio-political world in India and represent them through intriguing characters, sparkling dialogue, and accomplished narration,” said writer, scholar and translator Tejaswini Niranjana, the chair of the jury this year. The other members of the jury include writer Aruni Kashyap, playwright Ramu Ramanathan and arts and culture writer Deepika Sorabjee.
Each of the five shortlisted authors will receive Rs1 lakh. In case a shortlisted work happens to be in translation, the translator will receive an additional Rs50,000. The winner of the prize, which will be announced on 7 November, will be awarded Rs25 lakh. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional Rs10 lakh.