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International Booker Prize winner 'Tomb of Sand' in shortlist for Rs 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature


Kolkata, Oct 21
International Booker Prize winner Geetanjali Shree's "Tomb of Sand" is among the five translations shortlisted for the Rs 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature, India's richest literary award, it was announced here on Friday.

The shortlisted novels are:

* "Imaan" by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha (Eka)

* "The Paradise of Food" by Khalid Jawed, translated from Urdu by Baran Farooqi (Juggernaut)

* "Valli" by Sheela Tomy, translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil (Harper Perennial)

* "Tomb of Sand" by Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell (Penguin Random House India)

* "Song of the Soil" by Chuden Kabimo, translated from Nepali by Ajit Baral (Rachna Books)

Sheela Tomy and Chuden Kabimo are debut novelists. The winner of the prize will be announced on November 19.

Following the unveiling, Jayant Kriplani, Paramita Saha and Sandip Roy read passages from the shortlisted titles.

"Judging literature is a challenge," Jury Chair A.S. Panneerselvan saidunveiled the shortlist. From exploring new content and deploying various literary devices, authors constantly try to push the boundary. while unveiling the shortlist at the Glenburn Penthouse in an intimate gathering of authors, translators and the literary community of the city, adding: "Every step is crucial and every innovation is precious."

"However, when the final evaluation happened, these wonders of the mind gave space to the power of the heart, where empathy became the criteria for creating the shortlist. All the novels in the shortlist exemplify the idea of empathy, concern for fellow humans, and in a sense a worldview in which the head does not subsume the heart," Panneerselvan said.

Mita Kapur, Literary Director of the JCB Literature Foundation, said: "The fact that in the 5th year of the JCB Prize for Literature we have the most diverse shortlist yet, fills us with hope. This is a list that brings forth the many Indias across time and geography. This is truly representative of the spectrum of languages, authors and publishers that make up our industry, but most of all it represents the quality of excellent writing that India has to offer."

Each of the five shortlisted authors will receive Rs 1 lakh; and the translator an additional Rs 50,000. The translator of the winning work will receive an additional Rs 10 lakh.