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New fiction prize launched for Indian writers

British-Indian novelist Rana Dasgupta has announced the foundation of the JCB Prize for Literature—an award that aims to foster greater translation between Indian languages, and to communicate to readers everywhere ‘the diversity and energy of contemporary Indian fiction’, reports

The prize, worth Rs 35 lakhs (A$69,125) in total, will be awarded on an annual basis to Indian writers working in the fiction genre, and is open to translated fiction or fiction written in English. The winner will receive a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh (A$49,375), and five shortlisted authors will be awarded Rs 1 lakh each (A$1975). If the winning book is a translation from an Indian language to English, the translator of the work will also receive Rs 5 lakh (A$9875).

The prize aims to ‘foster greater translation between Indian languages’, and will only accept entries from publishers—not authors—as is the norm for most literary prizes. Publishers are allowed to enter two novels originally written in English and two novels translated into English from another language per imprint.

The prize is being funded by the construction manufacturing group JCB, which says it has a ‘desire to create an enduring cultural legacy in India’ based on ‘a substantial and longstanding involvement in the country’s social and economic life’.

This year’s jury includes Rohan Murty (founder of the Murty Classical Library), theoretical astrophysicist and author Priyamvada Natarajan, novelist and playwright Vivek Shanbhag, translator and scholar Arshia Sattar, and filmmaker Deepa Mehta, who will chair the jury.

Entries for the JCB Prize for Literature open on March 1. The longlist will be announced on 5 September, followed by the shortlist on 3 October, and the final prize winners on 3 November.


Category: International news