London, Sep 28, 2017 : Aravind Adiga, a Manglorean writer winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2008, has been shortlisted along with four other writers for the the $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017.
Aravind Adiga son of Dr. K. Madhava Adiga and Usha Adiga, both of whom hailed from Mangaluru, was born in Chennai on 23 October 1974. His paternal grandfather was the late K. Suryanarayana Adiga, former chairman of Karnataka Bank,and a maternal great-grandfather, U. Rama Rao, a popular medical practitioner and Congress politician from Madras.
Adiga grew up in Mangaluru and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius College, where he completed his SSLC in 1990 and secured the first place in his state in SSLC (his elder brother, Anand, had placed second in SSLC and first in PUC in the state).
After emigrating to Sydney, Australia, with his family, Aravind studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School. He later studied English literature at Columbia College of Columbia University, in New York city, under Simon Schama and graduated as salutatorian in 1997. He also studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, where one of his tutors was Hermione Lee.
The five shortlisted entries contending for the much coveted prize are led by Adiga’s “Selection Day,” a story of two cricketing brothers, divided by success and failure. The other shortlisted books are Anuk Arudpragasam’s “The Story of a Brief Marriage”; Anjali Joseph’s “The Living”; Karan Mahajan’s “The Association of Small Bombs”; and “In the Jungles of the Night” by Stephen Alter.
The shortlist represents a diverse mix of established writers and young novelists fast making their mark in the South Asian literary landscape. The shortlisted authors hail from different backgrounds and geographies and include three Indian writers, of which two are based outside of the South Asian region, one Sri Lankan writer and one American writer based in India.
Ritu Menon, the Chair of the jury, along with the other four jury members — Senath Walter Perera, Steven Bernstein, Valentine Cunningham and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown made the announcement at the London School of Economics and Political Science at a glittering event on late Wednesday evening. The jury had earlier announced a longlist of 13 novels at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi in August 2017.
“After deliberating on the many exceptional qualities of the novels selected, and considering the disparities in our backgrounds, the jury was unanimous in its decision on the five shortlisted titles. All five display a remarkable skill in animating current universal preoccupations in unconventional idioms, and from a distinctively South Asian perspective,” said Menon.
The jury will now deliberate on the shortlist over the next month-and-a-half and the winner of The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 will be announced at a special Award Ceremony at the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh on November 18. Past winners of the DSC Prize include HM Naqvi of Pakistan, Shehan Karunatilaka of Sri Lanka, Jeet Thayil and Cyrus Mistry from India. Jhumpa Lahiri won it in 2015 for “The Lowland”. Last year, the winner of the prize was Anuradha Roy for her book “Sleeping on Jupiter”.