JCB Prize for Literature announces its 2022 Longlist

Photo: Instagram/thejcbprize

The 5th edition of the longlist is announced for the 2022 JCB Prize for Literature. The list of ten novels was selected by a panel of five judges: A.S. Panneerselvan, (Chair) journalist and editor, Amitabha Bagchi, author; Rakhee Balaram, author, and academician; Dr. J. Devika, translator, historian, and academician; and Janice Pariat, author.

The longlist for 2022 is dominated by 6 translations. Amidst titles in Bengali and Malayalam, titles in Urdu, Hindi, and Nepali have been featured in the longlist for the first time. A truly diverse representation of what Indian fiction has to offer, the 2022 longlist brings forth stories from Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Kalimpong, Punjab, Kolkata, Kerala, and the heartland.

The longlist was chosen from a vast range of submissions by writers from sixteen states writing in eight languages including English, published between 1st August 2021 and 31st July 2022.

Commenting on the longlist for 2022 and the overall reading experience, A.S. Panneerselvan, Chair of the jury observed, "This year's deliberation to select the novels for the JCB prize for the 2022-long list was an enriching experience. It was a rich collection, the translations from different languages showed how writers were pushing the linguistic and creative boundaries to document our lives. These ten novels are in a sense a metaphor of contemporary India, where each language is permitted to shine; its intrinsic beauty is not subsumed by the other."

The 2022 longlist are:

Rohzin by Rahman Abbas, translated from Urdu by Sabika Abbas Naqvi (Vintage Books, 2022)

Imaanby ManoranjanByapari, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha (EKA, 2021)

Escaping the Land by Mamang Dai (Speaking Tiger, 2021)

Paradise of Food by Khalid Jawed, translated from Urdu by Baran Farooqi (Juggernaut, 2022)

Song of the Soil by ChudenKabimo, translated from Nepali by AjitBaral (Rachna Books, 2021)

Spirit Nights by EasterineKire (Simon &Schuster, 2022)

Crimson Spring by Navtej Sarna (Aleph Book Company, 2022)

The Odd Book of Baby Names by Anees Salim (Penguin Hamish Hamilton, 2021)

Tomb of Sandby Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell (Penguin Random House India, 2022)

Valli by Sheela Tomy, translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil (Harper Perennial, 2022)

The JCB Prize for Literature is now in its fifth year, and the 2018 Prize was granted to Benyamin for his Jasmine Days, which was translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib. Madhuri Vijay won the prize in 2019 for her film The Far Field. The Prize was awarded in 2020 to S. Hareesh for his Moustache, which was translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil, and in 2021 to M.Mukundan for Delhi: A Soliloquy, which was translated by Fathima E.V. and Nandakumar K.

Talking about the journey of the JCB Prize for Literature and the support it has had from the industry, MitaKapur, Literary Director, said, "The JCB Prize is chuffed with pride to announce a Longlist of ten books that are bracing, vigorous, transformative, experimental in voice and story. Elemental to storytelling, each book takes soaring flights of imagination even as it is strongly rooted in India. The Prize enters its fifth year, marking 50 Long-listed titles that catch the pulse of our literary traditions. This journey, of course, would be incomplete without the publishers who bring these stories to light, the bookstores, online and offline, that give them a platform, and the readers who open themselves to the new worlds these books create."

The JCB Prize for Literature is awarded each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer. The jury will announce the shortlist of five titles in October. The winner of the Rs 25-lakh JCB Prize for Literature will be announced on 19th November. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional Rs 10 lakh. Each of the 5 shortlisted authors will receive Rs 1 lakh; if a shortlisted work is a translation, the translator will receive Rs 50,000.


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