The 2020 longlist for India’s richest literary prize, the JCB Prize for Literature, was announced on September 1. This year’s jury – chaired by Tejaswini Niranjana, and joined by Aruni Kashyap, Ramu Ramanathan, and Deepika Sorabjee – chose six women writers, four debuts, and two translations to make the cut for the ten-title list. The shortlist will be announced on September 25, and the winner(, on November 7.
Shortly after the announcement, Niranjana and Kashyap spoke to Scroll.in about judging a prize during a pandemic, the Indian publishing landscape, and “separating the wheat from the chaff”. Excerpts from the conversation:
Can you comment on the challenges you faced and the rewards you gained during the process of reading and judging these books?
Aruni Kashyap: I think the biggest challenge for all the jury members – including the literary director,…