In a first, translated novel bags $25,000 DSC Prize

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Kolkata, Jan 25 (IANS) “No Presents Please”, originally written in Kannada by noted author Jayant Kaikini and translated into English by Tejaswini Niranjana, was announced on Friday as the winner of the prestigious $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here.

“The DSC Prize has always encouraged writing in regional languages and translations, and this is the first time that a translated work has won the prize. This magnificent book gives us a protagonist that is vivid yet full of contradictions, spirited yet lonely, embattled yet big-hearted – the city of Mumbai,” DSC said in a statement.

Empathy and survival are the constant, co-dependent themes that unify every strand of the winning novel, creating a shimmering mosaic of a conflicted city that is as kind as it is, at times, cruel.

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In a glittering award ceremony, the DSC Prize was awarded to Jayant Kaikini and Tejaswini Niranjana along with a unique trophy by eminent writer Ruskin Bond.

As per the prize process, the prize money would be equally shared between the author and the translator.

Congratulating the winner, Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize said: “My heartfelt congratulations to author Jayant Kaikini and translator Tejaswini Niranjana for winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 for their brilliant book ‘No Presents Please'”.

She said it was a pleasure reading the shortlist.

“The challenges faced by the authors to weave their protests against the wave of anti globalization into their writings of seemingly harmless pieces of literature could be seen through their work, migration being a major theme this year,” Narula added.

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The DSC Prize has completed eight years and reading South Asian literature written in English, including translations, has enabled larger global audiences to understand the issues globalisation has brought about, she said.

The Award Ceremony was held at the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall here.

The prize comes at a time when translations have attracted attention and are also arousing interest among international publishers.

Notably, the first edition of JCB Prize for Literature, billed as India’s richest book prize, was also bagged by a translated novel, “Jasmine Days”.

–IANS

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