The 2019 JCB Prize for Literature
● Four women and six men on the list for richest award for Indian writing
● Longlist dominated by debuts, showing Indian writing full of new talent in 2019
● Two works on the list are translations (from Tamil and Bengali)
● The jury makes the unusual move of putting “twin” novels by one author on the list together
● Turbulence of the contemporary world prominent in all novels.
Mumbai, 4th September 2019: The longlist is announced today for the 2019 JCB Prize for Literature.
The list of ten novels was selected by a panel of five judges: Pradip Krishen, filmmaker and environmentalist (Chair);
Anjum Hasan, author and critic; K.R. Meera, author; Parvati Sharma, author; and Arvind Subramanian, economist
and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India.
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 1 st August 2018 and 31 st July 2019.
The JCB Prize for Literature is awarded each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer. The winner receives Rs 25 lakh. The 2019 winner will be announced on 2nd November 2019.
The 2019 longlist is:
● Ib’s Endless Search for Satisfaction by Roshan Ali (Penguin Random House India, 2019)
● There’s Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha (Westland
● The City and the Sea by Rajkamal Jha (Penguin Random House India, 2019)
● Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale (Westland Publications, 2018)
● The Queen of Jasmine Country by Sharanya Manivannan (HarperCollins India, 2018)
● Trial by Silence and Lonely Harvest by Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
(Penguin Random House India, 2018)
● A Patchwork Family by Mukta Sathe (Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited, 2018)
● My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited, 2018)
● The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (HarperCollins India, 2019)
● A Secret History of Compassion by Paul Zacharia (Westland Publications, 2019)
The novels by Roshan Ali, Amrita Mahale, Mukta Sathe and Madhuri Vijay are all debuts.
Perumal Murugan ’s two novels, Trial by Silence and Lonely Harvest, are twin sequels to his One Part Woman (2015).
Each of them explores an alternative set of consequences to the profound sense of betrayal with which the earlier novel closes. Pradip Krishen says, “Perumal Murugan’s remarkable two novels, which begin from the same situation, succeed
in being both completely different and equally convincing as novels, and we on the jury felt they belonged together on