'A luminous new talent': Madhuri Vijay's debut novel The Far Field wins 2019 JCB Prize
Jaipur: The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay was announced the winner of the INR 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature.
Vijay’s debut novel, which sets a complex personal story against the backdrop of the conflict in the 1990s Kashmir, was the unanimous choice of the jury.
Vijay also received the Prize trophy, which is a sculpture by Delhi artist duo Thukral & Tagra entitled Mirror Melting.
The Far Field was selected by a panel of five judges: Pradip Krishen, filmmaker and environmentalist (Chair); Anjum Hasan, author and critic; KR Meera, author; Parvati Sharma, author; and Arvind Subramanian, economist and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India.
The jury citation read: “The Far Field is an impressively ambitious novel of stunning emotional and psychological acuity."
"This deeply introspective story, located in troubled Kashmir, is also a panoramic exploration of our ideas and assumptions about nationhood."
"Rendered in visually evocative, lucid prose, and driven by a fragile but compelling narrator-protagonist, this tragic novel teems with unforgettable characters. We are proud to celebrate the arrival of a luminous new talent in Indian literature.”
The JCB Prize for Literature celebrates the very finest achievements in Indian writing. It is presented each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer, as selected by the jury.
The prize encourages translations and aims to introduce new audiences to works of Indian literature written in languages other than their own.
Madhuri Vijay is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Her writing has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Narrative Magazine and Salon, among other publications.
Madhuri was born and raised in Bengaluru and now lives in Hawaii where she teaches children at
a school. The Far Field is her first book.
The JCB Prize for Literature was set up in 2018 to enhance the prestige of literary achievement in
India and create greater visibility for contemporary Indian writing.
The prize encourages translations and aims to introduce new audiences to works of Indian literature written in languages other than their own. It is funded by JCB and administered by the JCB Literature
The 2018 winner of the award was Jasmine Days by Benyamin, translated from the Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib and published by Juggernaut Books.