Monday, October 3, 2022

Easterine Kire’s ‘Spirit Nights’ at longlist for JCB Prize for Literature

Now in its 5th year, the Longlist was announced on September 3 for the ‘2022 JCB Prize for Literature’.
The list of ten novels was selected by a panel of five judges: (Chair) journalist and editor, A. S. Panneerselvan; author, Amitabha Bagchi; author and academician; Rakhee Balaram; translator, historian and academician, Dr. J Devika; and author, Janice Pariat.
The longlist for 2022 is dominated by 6 translations. Amidst titles in Bengali and Malayalam, titles in Urdu, Hindi and Nepali have been featured in the longlist for the first time. A truly diverse representation of what Indian fiction has to offer, the 2022 longlist brings forth stories from Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Kalimpong, Punjab, Kolkata, Kerala and the heartland.
The longlist was chosen from a vast range of submissions by writers from sixteen states writing in eight languages including English, published between August 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022.
The JCB Prize for Literature is awarded each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer. The jury will announce the shortlist of five titles in October.
The winner of the Rs 25-lakh JCB Prize for Literature will be announced on 19th November. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will receive an additional Rs 10 lakh. Each of the 5 shortlisted authors will receive Rs 1 lakh; if a shortlisted work is a translation, the translator will receive Rs 50,000.
The 2022 longlist is:
• Rohzin by Rahman Abbas, translated from Urdu by Sabika Abbas Naqvi (Vintage Books, 2022)
• Imaan by Manoranjan Byapari, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha (EKA, 2021)
• Escaping the Land by Mamang Dai (Speaking Tiger, 2021)
• Paradise of Food by Khalid Jawed, translated from Urdu by Baran Farooqi (Juggernaut, 2022)
• Song of the Soil by Chuden Kabimo, translated from the Nepali by Ajit Baral(Rachna Books, 2021)
• Spirit Nights by Easterine Kire (Simon & Schuster, 2022)
• Crimson Spring by Navtej Sarna (Aleph Book Company, 2022)
• The Odd Book of Baby Names by Anees Salim (Penguin Hamish Hamilton, 2021)
• Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell (Penguin Random House India, 2022)
• Valli by Sheela Tomy, translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil (Harper Perennial, 2022)
Commenting on the longlist for 2022 and the overall reading experience, chair of the jury, A S Panneerselvan commented: “This year’s deliberation to select the novels for the JCB prize for the 2022-long list was an enriching experience. These ten novels are in a sense a metaphor of contemporary India, where each language is permitted to shine; its intrinsic beauty is not subsumed by the other.”
Comments on Easterine Kire’s ‘Spirit Nights’ by the jury:
Spirit Nights posits a different view of the world where the human is just another creature struggling within the vastness of creation. Simple yet evocative, full of deep insights and important teachings, this grounded, lyrical novel is a powerful celebration of oral storytelling traditions.
About JCB Prize for Literature
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 Foundation.
For more information about the prize, one may visit: For updates, look for @thejcbprize on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Key 2022 dates: Longlist announcement: September 3, 2022; Shortlist announcement: October 2022; Winner announcement: November 19, 2022.
About JCB Literature Foundation
The JCB Literature Foundation, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, is single-handedly responsible for running the Prize.
In 2018, JCB India established the JCB Literature Foundation, whose purpose is to promote the art of literature in India, and whose principal activity is to administer The JCB Prize for Literature. A leading global manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment, the company has been active in India since 1979.