Perumal Murugan

Chennai, 4th September 2023: One of the most coveted fiction awards in India, the JCB Prize for Literature, unveils the Longlist of its sixth edition. A distinguished Jury from a diverse range of backgrounds, chaired by author and translator, Srinath Perur, bring forth a Longlist that promises to captivate literary enthusiasts across the world.

The Jury read entries from across the country- with authors hailing from 24 cities, writing in eight languages, including English. Four translations from Bengali, Hindi and Tamil make it to the Longlist along with six books which are originally written in English. Authors, Manoranjan Byapari and Perumal Murugan whose works have been longlisted twice for the Prize, return to the list for a third time, and author Tanuj Solanki joins the list for the second time. Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, who was longlisted for the Prize as an author in the past, returns to the list as a translator for Manoj Rupda’s Hindi book, this is Hansda’s first ever translation of a book.

Geet Chaturvedi’s debut book joins the list this year, the translation, by Anita Gopalan is the translator’s first foray into fiction translation. Tejaswini Apte-Rahm’s debut English book is also part of the Longlist along with Bikram Sharma’s writing debut.

The Jury for the 2023 edition of the Prize included Srinath Perur (Chair), author and translator; 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 Longlist for 2023 includes-

The Secret of More by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm (Aleph Book Company, 2022)

The Nemesis by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by V. Ramaswamy (Westland Books, 2023)

The East Indian by Brinda Charry (HarperCollins Publishers India, 2023)

Simsim by Geet Chaturvedi, translated from the Hindi by Anita Gopalan (Penguin Random House India, 2023)

Fire Bird by Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Janani Kannan (Penguin Random House India, 2023)

Everything the Light Touches by Janice Pariat (HarperCollins Publishers India, 2022)

Mansur by Vikramajit Ram (Pan Macmillan India, 2022)

I Named my Sister Silence by Manoj Rupda, translated from the Hindi by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (Westland Books, 2023)

The Colony of Shadows by Bikram Sharma (Hachette Books, 2022)

Manjhi’s Mayhem by Tanuj Solanki (Penguin Random House India, 2022)

While talking about the 2023 Longlist and the encompassing reading journey, Srinath Perur, Jury Chair, shared, “The set of books entered for the prize this year was remarkably strong and varied. The jury read the entries over the last few months, meeting online every couple of weeks. We read for freshness, relevance, accomplishment and ambition among other things. And we read for pleasure. We were often in agreement, and when we were not, it was instructive to consider a book from other perspectives. Given the quality of the entries, it felt like we could easily have come up with a solid second Longlist. But as it stands, every member of the jury found something special about these ten books. Taken together they represent a fine sampling of the breadth and quality of Indian novels published in English over the last year”.

Reflecting on the journey of the JCB Prize for Literature, Mita Kapur, Literary Director, JCB Prize for Literature, expressed, “The Longlisted books for 2023 are truly a dynamic reflection of Indian fiction at its finest. It is a privilege to celebrate these ten books that make our lives richer, expansive; that explore depths of our understanding of how we navigate ourselves through the unique, the mundane, the ugly, the beautiful, and the wonderful moments of human existence. This year’s Longlist is bound to captivate, surprise and delight every reader who picks it up.”

The JCB Prize for Literature annually honours an exceptional fictional book by an Indian author. The Shortlist of five titles will be unveiled on the 20th October. The winner will be declared on 18th November and will receive a cash prize of Rs 25-lakh. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Furthermore, each of the five shortlisted authors will receive Rs 1 lakh; if the shortlisted work is a translation, the translator will receive Rs 50,000.