We’ve got the Booker, the Pulitzer, the Commonwealth, Dublin Impac, the Orange and now there is a prize for South Asian writers. The DSC prize is worth US $50,000 and is to “raise awareness of South Asian culture around the world”. It is open to works by authors of “any ethnicity from any country which predominantly features themes based on South Asian culture, politics, history, or people”. South Asia is defined as “India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan”. Interestingly the shortlist includes Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James, a US citizen born and bred. It’s a novel about two Indian sisters, one of whom takes up a scholarship to New York.
Strangely, or perhaps strategically, the shortlist was announced at a “prestigious gala dinner” at Globe Theatre in London. The winner, though, will be announced in India – at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011. DSC is an infrastructure company. See the DSC prize.