Karachi-based author HM Naqvi’s debut novel, Home Boy, won the inaugural DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. The award makes Naqvi (36) richer by Rs 2,500,000, the third largest prize money for a single work by a writer after the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (about Rs 6,200,000) and the Man Booker Prize (about Rs 3,65,000).
Bagging the award at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival, Naqvi, who worked for about half a decade on this novel about immigrants, love and stereotypes in the post-9/11 world, said in his acceptance speech: “Mercifully, I have few critics.”
Naqvi quit his World Bank job in the US in 2003 to write Home Boy.
“Writing is intimate for me. It relieves me of my anxieties,” he said. Other authors in the race for the award included Amit Chaudhuri (The Immortals), MA Farooqi (The Story of a Widow), Tania James (Atlas of Unknowns), Manju Kapur (The Immigrant) and Neel Mukherjee (A Life Apart).