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Jhumpa Lahiri strikes gold at JLF, wins US $50,000 DSC Prize

Jhumpa Lahiri has been announced as the winner of the widely-acclaimed DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 for her book The Lowland at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The US $50,000 DSC Prize along with a unique trophy was awarded by Vijay Seshadri, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry. As Jhumpa Lahiri was unable to receive the award personally, it was collected on her behalf by her publisher. The last four years have had winners from three different countries in South Asia – HM Naqvi from Pakistan, Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka, Jeet Thayil from India and Cyrus Mistry from India.

BIG DEAL: The five shortlisted authors and books in contention for the DSC Prize this year were Bilal Tanweer: The Scatter Here is Too Great (Vintage Books/Random House, India), Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland (Vintage Books/Random House, India), Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury, India), Romesh Gunesekera: Noontide Toll (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India) and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: The Mirror of Beauty (Penguin Books, India). The DSC Prize had received more than 75 entries this year with participation from publishers from the subcontinent as well as from countries like the UK, US, Canada, Australia and South Africa amongst others.

COMMENTS: Jury chair Keki N Daruwalla speaking on behalf of the jury said, “The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri is a superb novel written in restrained prose with moments of true lyricism. It starts with a sense of loss and trauma due to the death and then the ongoing presence of a key character. The novel is partly political and partly familial, starting with an unromanticised account of the Indian Naxalite movement and ending with a series of individual emotional resolutions. The Lowland is a novel about the difficulty of love in complex personal and societal circumstances, inhabited by characters which are finely drawn and where the lowland itself is a metaphor running through their entire lives. This is a fine novel written by a writer at the height of her powers.”

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