Writer Khalid Jawed won the JCB Prize for Literature 2022 for his novel The Paradise of Food, translated from the Urdu into English by Baran Farooqi. The novel was published by Juggernaut.
The winner was announced at a ceremony in New Delhi on Saturday. Jawed will receive Rs 25 lakh, while Farooqi will receive Rs 10 lakh as cash awards.
In their acceptance speeches, Khalid said that winning the award was his “true happy moment” while Farooqi said that in a time when Urdu is not being heard, the win is a “special moment.”
A review published in Scroll.in says that the novel “subverts reader expectations of the implied ambrosial pleasures of the kitchen, Jawed’s protagonist quickly establishes the kitchen as ‘a dangerous place’, and food as portent, trigger, often a portal to unimaginable tragedy.”
The other four books on the shortlist, all of them translations, were Imaan by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha; Song of the Soil by Chuden Kabimo, translated from the Nepali by Ajit Baral; Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell; and Valli by Sheela Tomy, translated from the Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil.
This year’s jury was chaired by journalist and editor AS Panneerselvan, and included writers Amitabh Bagchi and Janice Pariat, historian and academician J Devika, and author and academician Rakhee Balaram.