Amitabha Bagchi wins 2019 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

Author Amitabha Bagchi has won DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019, for his novel ‘Half the Night is Gone’. It is Bagchi’s third novel. A major part of Half The Night Is Gone, is based in old-forgotten world of scheming zamindars, dubious morals and a man lamenting lost opportunities. His attention to detail ensures the readers are transported to that time, smelling the grime and listening to creaking sound made by rusted doors.

Key Highlights

The winner for this year’s DSC Prize was announced at the IME Nepal Literature Festival in Nepal. Author Amitabha Bagchi was handed over the prize by Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali. This year’s international jury panel was chaired by Harish Trivedi.

One of the major takeaways from this years award was the fact that among 90 entries received, 37 were by first-time authors. At the same time, there was also a significant presence of women writers, with 42 novels penned by them and 6 women involved as translators.

Apart from Bagchi’s, 6 other books were shortlisted, these included:

  • The Far Field- by Madhuri Vijay (which also won JCB Prize for Literature)
  • The City and the Sea- by Raj Kamal Jha
  • There’s Gunpowder in the Air- by Manoranjan Byapari (Translated by Arunava Sinha)
  • The Empty Room- by Sadia Abbas
  • 99 Nights in Logar- by Jamil Jan Kochi

About DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

It is a prestigious international literary prize. It is awarded annually to writers of any ethnicity or nationality writing about South Asia themes such as culture, history, people or politics. It defines ‘South Asia’ as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It is given for an original full-length novel written in English/ translated into English. The DSC Prize is worth US $25,000 and is awarded for novels published in year preceding judging of prize.

The awards are in its ninth edition. This year the award received 90 entries and the submissions came from 22 publishers, pointing to an increased interest and variety in South Asian writing. The entries served as a timely marker of trends in South Asian fiction writing.

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