Madhuri Vijay wins JCB Prize for Literature 2019 for her debut novel, The Far Field

  • The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay won the 2019 JCB Prize for Literature.

  • Vijay has been selected from a shortlist featuring novels from five accomplished writers

  • With a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, the JCB Prize for Literaure is the richest literary honour in the country

Madhuri Vijay has won the JCB Prize for Literature 2019 for her debut novel, The Far Field. The winner was announced by Sir Mark Tully in a live broadcast on social media. Vijay has been selected from a shortlist featuring novels from five accomplished writers.

The story of The Far Field poignantly internalises the turbulent politics of Kashmir, as Vijay's protagonist, Shalini, packs her privileges and curiosities, and sets off on a soul-searching journey to the mountains, all the way from her (and the author's) hometown, Bengaluru.

The jury citation read:
 
“The Far Field is an impressively ambitious novel of stunning emotional and psychological acuity. This deeply introspective story, located in troubled Kashmir, is also a panoramic exploration of our ideas and assumptions about nationhood. Rendered in visually evocative, lucid prose, and driven by a fragile but compelling narrator-protagonist, this tragic novel teems with unforgettable characters. We are proud to celebrate the arrival of a luminous new talent in Indian literature.”

The entries for the shortlist this year were:

1. Ib's Endless Search for Satisfaction - Roshan Ali (Penguin Random House India, 2019)
2. There's Gunpowder in the Air - Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha (Westland Publications, 2018)
3. Trial by Silence and A Lonely Harvest - Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan (Penguin Random House India, 2018)
4. My Father's Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited, 2018)
5. The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (HarperCollins India, 2019)

With a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, the JCB Prize for Literature is the richest literary honour in the country. In case of a winner whose book has been translated into English from a different language, the translator receives an additional Rs 10 lakh.

JCB Prize for Literature 2019 winner Madhuri Vijay on living through the 'monstrous consequences' of India's vast geography

The longlist for the literary honour this year was dominated by debuts, with new writers such as Roshan Ali, ​Madhuri Vijay, ​Mukta Sathe, and Amrita Mahale​ among those featured. Paul Zacharia and Sharanya Manivannan also found a spot in the longlist for their first English language novels. Culled from a range of entries from 14 states and six languages (Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu), the longlist featured works published between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019. The prominent theme running through the longlisted works was the turbulence of the contemporary world.

The winner of the JCB Prize for Literature last year was Jasmine Days by Benyamin, translated from the Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib (Juggernaut Books).

Updated Date: Nov 03, 2019 07:40:03 IST