Shehan Karunatilaka’s Chinaman wins 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Sri Lankan novelist Shehan Karunatilaka has been awarded the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his debut novel Chinaman.
This year’s recipient of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, Shehan Karunatilaka’s Chinaman explores the world of South Asia’s favourite sport, cricket, and uses this hermetic sporting realm as the basis for an extended riff on history and fair play. The title of the novel comes from a term used to refer to a left-arm unorthodox spin bowling technique. It has been hailed as one of the few ‘Great Cricket Novels’ albeit one that has appeal far beyond the esoteric world of cricket devotees.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is awarded annually to any writer focusing his or her work on South Asian culture, history or politics and can be written either in English, or translated into English. It was founded in 2011 as a means of celebrating the rich variety of literature from South Asia and bringing said literature to a global audience. It is awarded every year at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January. Karunatilaka is the second winner of the prize after the inaugural 2011 version was awarded to Pakistan’s H.M. Naqvi and he will receive $50,000 in prize money.
Chinaman was chosen out of a shortlist which included U.R. Ananthamurthy’s Bharathipura, Chandrakanta’s A Street in Srinagar, Usha K.R’s Monkey-man, Tabish Khair’s The Thing About Thugs, and Kavery Nambisan’s The Story that Must Not Be Told.