Man Booker finalist Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis, is one of sixteen authors on the longlist for the 2013 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, alongside two debut novels, several from Oxbridge and Harvard alumni, and one from a cricketing expert.
The Prize for South Asian Literature may only be two years old -- three by the time the 2013 winner is revealed -- but that winner is announced as part of January's Jaipur Literature Festival, a major book event for Asia.
While many will know Narcopolis as a result of international critical success, each longlisted entry is notable in its own right: The Wandering Falcon and The Song Seekers hold a shared status as debut novels, while The Sly Company of People Who Care actually comes from the mind of an established cricketing journalist, and many of the elected authors have associations with leading universities in the UK, the US and Asia.
Themes of family, marriage, religion, travel, love and loss populate many of the novels, and several explore the juncture between traditional and modern mores, while nearly half of the selected authors are female.
Books elegible for the prize must concern themselves with the region of South Asia and must be available to read in English either as an original or via published translation. The eventual winner will be awarded $50,000 in recognition of their achievement.
DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013 Longlist
Jamil Ahmad: The Wandering Falcon
Alice Albinia: Leela's Book
Tahmima Anam: The Good Muslim
Rahul Bhattacharya: The Sly Company of People Who Care
Roopa Farooki: The Flying Man
Musharraf Ali Farooqi: Between Clay and Dust
Amitav Ghosh: River of Smoke
Niven Govinden: Black Bread White Beer
Sunetra Gupta: So Good in Black
Mohammed Hanif: Our Lady of Alice Bhatti
Jerry Pinto: Em and the Big Hoom
Uday Prakash: The Walls of Delhi (Trans. Jason Grunebaum)
Anuradha Roy: The Folded Earth
Saswati Sengupta: The Song Seekers
Geetanjali Shree: The Empty Space (Trans. Nivedita Menon)
Jeet Thayil: Narcopolis