Jayant Kaikini's No Presents Please wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018

Jayant Kaikini's No Presents Please is vivid yet full of contradictions, spirited yet lonely, embattled yet big-hearted — the city of Mumbai, the award presenters said.

FP Staff January 26, 2019 11:36:55 IST
Jayant Kaikini's No Presents Please wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018
  • Kannada author Jayant Kaikini was named the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 for his translated work No Presents Please.

  • The award was given to Kaikini and translator Tejaswini Niranjana, along with a trophy by eminent writer Ruskin Bond.

  • The jury panel was deeply impressed by the quiet voice of Kaikini through which he presented vignettes of life in Mumbai and made the city the protagonist of a coherent narrative.

Kannada author Jayant Kaikini, on 25 January, was named the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 for his translated work No Presents Please.

The announcement was made at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet at the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata. The award was given to Kaikini and translator Tejaswini Niranjana, along with a trophy by eminent writer Ruskin Bond.

This is the first time that a translated work has won the US $25,000 prize. According to the presenters, No Presents Please is vivid yet full of contradictions, spirited yet lonely, embattled yet big-hearted — the city of Mumbai. Empathy and survival are the constant, co-dependent themes that unify every strand of this extraordinary book, creating a shimmering mosaic of a conflicted city that is as kind as it is, at times, cruel, the DSC Group said.

According to the prize process, the award money would be equally shared between the author and the translator.

No Presents Please is published by HarperCollins India.

The other shortlisted authors were Kamila Shamsie (Home Fire), Manu Joseph (Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous), Mohsin Hamid (Exit West), Neel Mukherjee (A State Of Freedom) and Sujit Saraf (Harilal & Sons).

Jury Chair Rudrangshu Mukherjee said the panel was deeply impressed by the quiet voice of Kaikini through which he presented vignettes of life in Mumbai and made the city the protagonist of a coherent narrative.

"The Mumbai that came across through the pen of Kaikini was the city of ordinary people who inhabit the bustling metropolis. It is a view from the margins and all the more poignant because of it. This is the first time that this award is being given to a translated work and the jury would like to recognise the outstanding contribution of Tejaswini Niranjana, the translator," he said.

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which was instituted in 2010, awards the best work in South Asian fiction writing each year. The past winners have been from various countries and their work has reflected the importance of South Asian culture and literature.

Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize said, "The challenges faced by the authors to weave their protests against the wave of anti-globalisation into their writings of seemingly harmless pieces of literature could be seen through their work, migration being a major theme this year."

Besides Mukherjee, the jury comprised Nandana Sen, Claire Armitstead, Tissa Jayatilaka, and Firdous Azim.

With inputs from the Press Trust of India

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