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Perumal, Zacharia in JCB longlist

Perumal, Zacharia in JCB longlist
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The jury will announce the shortlist of five titles on October 4. The winner will be announced at the awards dinner on November 2. If the winning work...

Noted Tamil writer Perumal Murugan's twin novels, 'Trial by Silence' and 'Lonely Harvest' (Penguin Random House) and Malayalam author Paul Zacharia's maiden work in English 'A Secret History of Compassion' (Westland) are among the 10 authors who feature in the longlist of the Rs 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature 2019, India's richest, it was announced on Wednesday.

"We on the jury had a wonderful time discussing these books together. The longlist we have chosen is varied, but all these books do what great fiction should: they take risks, they make arguments - and they touch a magic chord, one that keeps thrumming in your head and heart long after you've put the book away. It's impossible to generalise about these ten books," noted filmmaker Pradip Krishen, the jury chair, said.

The jury will announce the shortlist of five titles on October 4. The winner will be announced at the awards dinner on November 2. 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.

"It has been fascinating to watch the five members of the jury read and discuss the very large and varied body of entries we had for the 2019 Prize. All of them have demanding expectations of contemporary literature, and they debated with enormous passion," JCB Prize Literary Director Rana Dasgupta said.

"Their search for literary excellence has produced an extremely varied list, which takes us to very different aspects of the contemporary Indian experience. There are many treasures in this list, and I encourage everyone who wishes to understand what 2019 means to spend time exploring it," he added.

The other members of the jury were author and critic Anjum Hasan; authors K.R. Meera and Parvati Sharma; and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian government Arvind Subramanian.

The longlist was chosen from a vast range of submissions by writers in fourteen states writing in six languages (Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu) published between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019.

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