Perumal Murugan wins JCB Prize for Literature for ‘Fire Bird’

Perumal Murugan wins JCB Prize for Literature for ‘Fire Bird’

New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) Tamil writer Perumal Murugan won the JCB Prize for Literature for his book “Fire Bird” on Saturday.

The book, translated from the Tamil by Janani Kannan and published by Penguin Random House India, explores the themes of displacement and the inane human desire for stability in an ever-changing world.

“Fire Bird”, originally titled “Aalanda Patchi”, is the fifth translated work to have won the prestigious award in its six years of journey.

“In 'Fire Bird', Perumal Murugan takes a universal story of lives that are tied to land and tells it with astonishing particularity. Janani Kannan's translation carries into English the rhythms not only of Tamil but of an entire way of being in the world,” Srinath Perur, head of the jury, said.

Murugan received the prize money of Rs 25 lakh along with a trophy — a sculpture by Delhi artist duo Thukral and Tagra, 'Mirror Melting'.

Translator Kannan also received an additional Rs 10 lakh for the award.

“The JCB Prize continues to uphold excellence and celebrates books that make us lose ourselves in their interior worlds, variegated realities, memorable characters, books that encompass the gamut of our country in unique and incomparable ways,” literary director Mita Kapur, said.

This year, a total of 10 books were selected for the long list.

Apart from “Fire Bird”, the longlist included “The Nemesis” by Manoranjan Byapari (translated from the Bengali by V Ramaswamy), “I Named my Sister Silence” by Manoj Rupda (translated from the Hindi by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar), and “Simsim” by Geet Chaturvedi (translated from the Hindi by Anita Gopalan).

“The Secret of More” by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm and Bikram Sharma’s “The Colony of Shadows” were their respective author’s debut works that made it to the longlist for the prize.

“The East Indian” by Brinda Charry, “Everything the Light Touches” by Janice Pariat, “Mansur” by Vikramajit Ram and “Manjhi’s Mayhem” by Tanuj Solanki wete also in the competition for the literary award.

The shortlist for the prize included ''The Nemesis'', “Fire Bird”, ''The Secret of More'' and ''Mansur''.

Each of the five authors on the shortlist are awarded Rs 1 lakh. If the shortlisted piece is a translation, the translator receives Rs 50,000. PTI MAH SHD SHD

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