Srinath Perur to head jury for Rs 25-lakh JCB Prize for Literature 2023

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) As it enters its sixth year, the JCB Prize for Literature, one of India’s most coveted and richest literary awards at Rs 25 lakh, on Tuesday named author and translator Srinath Perur as the head of its jury.
Its other members are Mahesh Dattani, playwright and stage director; Somak Ghoshal, author, critic and learning designer; Kavery Nambisan, author and surgeon; and Swati Thiyagarajan, conservation journalist and filmmaker.
The jury will announce the longlist of 10 titles in September (subject to change), followed by the shortlist of five titles in October (subject to change). The winner of the prize will be announced in November 2023. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will be awarded an additional Rs 10 lakh. Each of the five shortlisted authors will receive Rs 1 lakh; if a shortlisted work is a translation, the translator will receive Rs 50,000.
Representing a range of backgrounds, languages and mediums of expression between them, the jury brings a set of diverse points of view to the task of selecting the best of fiction from India for the year.
The JCB Prize for Literature is funded by India’s leading manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment, JCB India Ltd, and administered by the JCB Literature Foundation.
Commenting on this year’s jury, Mita Kapur, Literary Director of the JCB Prize for Literature, said: “Last year has truly been a milestone year for us. For the first time, our jury put forth a shortlist that were all translations. India speaks and reads in so many languages, and the books that are submitted for the JCB Prize are a true representation of the many Indiaโ€™s that reside within one.
The 2022 JCB Prize for Literature was awarded to ‘The Paradise of Food’ by Khalid Jawed, translated from the Urdu by Baran Farooqi, and published by Juggernaut. The book is a brutal and mesmerising account of the contemporary body, home and nation told through the food and kitchen. In a world consumed by hyper-consumerism, the book provides a bracing counter-narrative making it an important piece of work.
With an aim to increase inclusivity in readership, the book along with the other four shortlisted novels of 2022 was also made available by the JCB Literature Foundation in a digitally accessible format for anyone in the visually impaired spectrum.
“I am happy to be part of the jury for the JCB Prize for Literature 2023. It represents an opportunity to celebrate books that speak to our times, and bring to notice books that may have been unfairly overlooked. In this regard, I particularly appreciate the Prize’s efforts at encouraging publishers to send in translations,” Srinath Perur said.
About the Jury
Srinath Perur is the author of the travelogue ‘If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai’. He has translated Kannada novel ‘Ghachar Ghochar’ (by Vivek Shanbhag) and the memoir ‘This Life at Play’ (by Girish Karnad). He writes on a variety of subjects including science, travel and books.
Somak Ghoshal has worked in publishing and media with major Indian organisations for over 15 years, especially as a critic and book publisher. His work has appeared in Mint, Huff Post, The Telegraph, Open, The Hindu, The Voice of Fashion, Mekong Review, Index on Censorship, CNN Style, and other Indian and international publications.
Mahesh Dattani is a playwright, stage director, and mentor. His works as a playwright have been translated and performed in many languages across India and abroad. For his anthology Final Solutions and Other Plays, Dattani received the SahityaAkademi Award.
Kavery Nambisan started her writing career with children’s books. Her adult novels include The Scent of Pepper, A Story that Must Not be Told and A Town Like Ours. Her non-fiction book A Luxury Called Health is her most recent work. She also contributes articles and essays to national newspapers and international anthologies.
Swati Thiyagarajan is a multi-award winning conservation journalist. She is the former Environment Editor of NDTV and helmed and created one of their flagship shows Born Wild. She authored the book Born Wild, Journeys into the Wild Hearts of India and Africa.

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