Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 15, 2018

2018 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature Shortlist

The shortlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian literature was announced yesterday.  I’ve only read Exit West but if that’s an indication of the strength of the shortlist, then these other books offer a feast of reading.

It’s interesting to see that —with the exception of Sujit Saraf’s Harilal & Sons published by Speaking Tiger, India—the shortlisted books seem to be published by the big conglomerate publishers. (Riverhead is an imprint of Penguin USA).  While this makes it easier for us to source the books in the global market, it would be interesting to see this prize discover some books from the smaller local Indian publishers who will then get a global profile. Last year’s winner The Story of a Brief Marriage was published by Flatiron Books (a US division of Macmillan) and all but one of the 2017 longlist—Stephen Alter’s In the Jungles of the Night published by Aleph Book Company, India— were published by the big companies too. I mention this because it’s certainly true here in Australia that it’s the small publishers that take risks with publishing while the big companies tend to play it safe with books that will sell well in the marketplace.

Anyway, this is the 2018 shortlist:

Update: the winner is highlighted in bold.

Jayant Kaikini: No Presents Please (Translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, Harper Perennial, HarperCollins India)

Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire (Riverhead Books, USA and Bloomsbury, UK) (nominated for the Booker, and won the Women’s prize) Update, see my review

Manu Joseph: Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India)

Mohsin Hamid: Exit West (Riverhead Books, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India) See my review

Neel Mukherjee: A State Of Freedom (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, UK and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India)

Sujit Saraf: Harilal & Sons (Speaking Tiger, India)

The winner of the $25,000 DSC Prize 2018 will be announced at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet which takes place in Kolkata, India between Jan 22 and Jan 27, 2019.  For more info see the prize website.


  1. Ooh, some interesting books here.


    • I know, My credit card is under siege!


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