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South Asian writing going global: 5 novels shortlisted in DSC Prize

The shortlist of five novels for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is strongly representative of the globalisation of South Asian literature

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

South Asian writing going global: 5 novels shortlisted in DSC Prize

More and more writers based outside of South Asia are writing about the region, finding interest in its life and culture, and this trend can be seen in the books shortlisted for this year's The shortlist of five novels for the for South Asian Literature is strongly representative of the globalisation of South Asian literature. Three of the five shortlisted authors are based in the US and the U whereas their novels are strongly set in the South Asian region and poignantly bring alive the challenges and conflicting emotions in the lives of the protagonists. Anjali Joseph is an Indian author living in the UK and her shortlisted novel "The Living" is a story of two lives - a young Englishwoman working in a shoe factory in England, and a middle aged man in Kohlapur making handmade chappals and the relationship they share. Anuk Arudpragasam is from Colombo but now lives in Columbia, US and his novel "The Story of a Brief Marriage" set in war torn Sri Lanka depicts the horror and despondency of the situation. Karan Mahajan hails from New Delhi and currently lives in Austin in the US. His novel "The Association of Small Bombs" relives the physical and psychological scarring of a bombing that happened in New Delhi in 1996. On the other hand there is American author Stephen Alter on the shortlist who has lived his life in and has brought out a fictional account of Jim Corbett in his book "In the Jungles of the Night". The fifth book in the shortlist is Aravind Adiga's "Selection Day". Writings about South Asia are not just confined to writers based in the region who wrote about this region.

Over the last decade or so, South Asia has gained importance in the global scheme of things and this has extended to the writing about this region as well. As a result one has seen a significant evolution in the South Asian literature landscape. These span authors based in the West like in the UK, the US and Canada - including authors of non South Asian ethnicity as well as authors of South Asian origin, and the latter especially has led to a rich vein of diasporic And what is interesting and commendable in these diasporic writings is the grasp and understanding of the nuances of South Asian life that these novels bring to life. While remaining true to the South Asian socio-cultural ethos, these writings are also able to bring in a new global perspective in which the world sees and appreciates the lives, cultures, fears and aspirations of the people living in this region.

First Published: Sun, November 05 2017. 14:41 IST
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