Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam’s novel The Story of a Brief Marriage won the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in Dhaka on Saturday.
Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith announced the award that comes with a cash prize of $25,000 (approximately Rs 16 lakh) at the Dhaka Literature Festival.
The Story of a Brief Marriage is the first novel by Colombo-born Anuk Arudpragasam, who is currently finishing a dissertation in philosophy at Columbia University in New York. Narrated over the course of a single day and night, the book is an unflinching and courageous portrayal of marriage, war and death during the Tamil-Sinhala conflict.
After winning the award, Arudpragasam announced that he would donate one-third of the prize money to organisations working for northern Sri Lankans, Rohingya Muslims and Kashmiris.
The other shortlisted titles were:
- Anjali Joseph: The Living (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, UK)
- Aravind Adiga: Selection Day (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India)
- Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs (Chatto & Windus, UK)
- Stephen Alter: In the Jungles of the Night (Aleph Book Company, India)
Founded in 2010 by Surina Narula, the DSC Prize is open to writers across ethnicities with the only stipulation being that the writing should be related to the South Asian region in content and theme.
Previous winners of the award include Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland.