No Presents Please, a collection of short stories by Kannada writer Jayant Kaikini, translated into English by Tejaswini Niranjana, was announced the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The short story collection won the $25,000 prize from a shortlist of six titles, beating novels including Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire and Neel Mukherjee’s A State of Freedom.
The stories in No Presents Please are all set in Mumbai with some of them originally published in Kannada in the 1980s and ‘90s. The strongly evocative stories are rooted in the uniqueness of the city’s many suburbs and neighbourhoods, drawing on the two decades that Kaikini spent living in Mumbai.
Currently based in Bengaluru, Kaikini is also a renowned poet and an award-winning lyricist in Kannada cinema. The book’s translator, Tejaswini Niranjana, is a well-known academic and cultural theorist.
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.