Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presents the DSC prize to Indian writer Anuradha Roy. (AFP photo)
Colombo: Indian writer Anuradha Roy today won the prestigious $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for her novel 'Sleeping on Jupiter' at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka.
Ms Roy was awarded the prize and a unique trophy by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a glittering ceremony this evening.
The six shortlisted authors in contention for this year's prize were UK-based Indian-origin author Akhil Sharma for "Family Life", KR Meera's "Hangwoman" (Translated by Devika), Mirza Waheed's "The Book of Gold Leaves", Neel Mukherjee's "The Lives of Others" and "Raj Kamal Jha: She Will Build Him A City."
Mark Tully, the chair of the judging panel described Ms Roy's novel as having described "the South Asia setting faithfully and evocatively."
"We chose Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy because of its elegance, flair and readability. It raises many issues succinctly and with commendable economy of words," Mr Tully said.
"Among the issues raised are the power of memory and myth, religious hypocrisy, sexuality, abuse and other forms of violence. The novel contains powerful portraits of both major and minor characters. We believe this book will be a source of inspiration to other writers." he added.
While presenting the trophy to the winner, Mr Wickremesinghe commented on the importance of South Asian literature and the crucial role it can play to improve the lives of the people living in the region.
Now in its sixth edition, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is an established international literary prize that awards the best work in South Asian fiction writing each year.
This year prize had received 74 entries with participation from publishers across the South Asian region and from countries like the UK, US, Canada, Australia and South Africa amongst others.
The past five winners of the prize include Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland), Cyrus Mistry (Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer) Jeet Thayil (Narcopolis), Shehan Karunatilaka (Chinaman) and HM Naqvi (Home Boy). Each of these winners has gone on to be published internationally.
Ms Roy is an award-winning novelist, journalist and editor. Her first novel, 'An Atlas of Impossible Longing' has been translated into fifteen languages across the world.