The JCB Prize for Literature has announced the jury for the third edition of the award, in 2020. Known for assembling an eclectic set of judges, the prize – now under the directorship of Mita Kapur – has put together a panel comprising a Bharatnatyam dancer and writer, two writer-translator-academics, a theatre artiste, and an arts and culture specialist.
The chair of the jury is Leela Samson, former chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi and of the Central Board of Film Certification, and author of the books Rhythm in Joy: Classical Indian Dance Traditions, and Rukmini Devi: A Life. “The JCB Prize for Literature has presented us with an amazing opportunity to award the most reflective, imaginative and persuasive piece of contemporary fiction writing in India,” Samson was quoted as saying by a media release.
The other members of the jury are Aruni Kashyap and Tejaswi Niranjana – both of whom are writers, translators and professors – playwright and theatre director Ramu Ramanathan, and Deepika Sorabjee, who heads the Arts & Culture portfolio at Tata Trusts.
The JCB Prize for Literature gives a prize of Rs 25 lakh to the winner, and Rs 1 lakh each to the shortlisted authors. It considers translations into English on equal footing with works originally written in English, and gives additional awards of Rs 50,000 each to the translators in case one or more of the shortlisted books are translations, and of 10 lakh to the translator of the winning book if it happens to be a translation.
The 2019 Prize was awarded to The Far Field, writer Madhuri Vijay’s debut novel. This year the longlist of ten titles will be announced on September 1, followed by the shortlist of five on September 25. The awards ceremony is scheduled for November 7.