M Mukundan wins JCB Prize for Literature, third Malayali to bag the award

M Mukundan
Delhi: A Soliloquy, English translation of M Mukundan's Malayalam novel 'Delhi Gadhakal' won him the prize.

Thiruvananthapuram: Renowned Malayalam writer M Mukundan has been chosen for the JCB Prize for Literature 2021 for his novel Delhi: A Soliloquy, which is an English translation of Delhi Gadhakal that was published in Malayalam in 2011.

Mukundan has become the third Malayali to win the award that carries a cash award of Rs 25 lakh, after Benyamin and S Hareesh.

"This is an award of great magnitude. It gives the certain book and its author an immense visibility, deleting all the borders of culture and languages. This award will help me to reach out to readers, non-Malyali readers in particular, across the English speaking countries even beyond that if the book is translated into other languages," said the winning author during the awards ceremony.

The book was selected by a panel of five judges -- author and literary translator Sara Rai (Chair), designer and art historian Annapurna Garimella, author and translator Shahnaz Habib, journalist and editor Prem Panicker, and writer and podcaster Amit Varma.

"The novel is so close to my heart," Mukundan was quoted as saying in a chat with MP and writer, Shashi Tharoor the other day. "Everything I have written comes from what I have seen or heard of."

Benyamin was the first recipient of the award that was instituted in 2018.

His 'Jasmine Days' that won the inaugural JCB Prize was the English translation of 'Mullappooniramulla Pakalukal' published in Malayalam.

In 2020, another popular Malayalam storyteller, S Hareesh secured the prize for his work Moustache (Meesha). The novel had upset Hindu organisations over controversial remarks made by a character in it.  
(With PTI inputs)

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