Jasmine Days, a Malayalam novel translated in to English, has won the introductory JCB Prize for Literature worth Rs 25 lakh. Shahnaz Habib, who translated the novel has won prize worth Rs 5 lakh. The story develops through the voice of a Sameera, a Pakistani woman who works as a radio jockey in an unnamed West Asian country.
The winner was chosen from 42 submissions in eight language. “We are mostly at the receiving end of abuses and allegations,” said the winner, Benyamin. “Every serious novel is an enquiry into the marginalised brethren within us.”
The other books that were shortlisted were
- Half The Night Is Gone, Amitabha Bagchi (Juggernaut)
- Jasmine Days, Benyamin, translated by Shahnaz Habib (Juggernaut)
- Poonachi, Perumal Murugan, translated by N Kalyan Raman (Westland)
- All The Lives We Never Lived, Anuradha Roy (Hachette)
- Latitudes of Longing, Shubhangi Swarup (HarperCollins India)
— The Literary Edit (@thelited) October 25, 2018
The jury comprised of Rohan Murthy, founder of Murthy Classical Library, Priyamvada Natarajan -theoretical astrophysicist and author, Arshia Sattar- translator and scholar, Vivek Shanbhag- novelist and playwright.