JCB Prize for Literature 2023: 17th Edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival

JCB Prize for Literature 2023: 17th Edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival

The JCB Prize for Literature...

Jaipur Literature Festival

The JCB Literature Foundation presented a series of compelling sessions at 17th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival. These captivating discussions featured renowned authors, including JCB Prize for Literature 2023 winner, Perumal Murugan, and thought-provoking discussions by shortlisted authors, translators and literary enthusiasts. 

The event commenced with two sessions presented by the foundation’s flagship project The JCB Prize for Literature, including the 2023 winner, Perumal Murugan, sharing insights into his acclaimed novel "Firebird." On 2 Feb shortlisted authors Manoranjan Byapari, Manoj Rupda, Tejaswini Apte- Rahm and Vikramajit Ram discussed the plots and protagonists of their novels with 2023 jury member Somak Ghoshal amidst an enthusiastic audience. The foundation also shed light on the role of community libraries through an engaging session with library makers and educators, reflecting on its vision for an inclusive library network.  

Jaipur Literature Festival

Event Details:
1. In Character

Date: February 2

Time: 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Panelists: Tejaswini Apte-Rahm, Manoranjan Byapari, Vikramajit Ram, and Manoj Rupda in conversation with Somak Ghoshal 

Description: Delve into the intricacies of literary characters and their impact on narratives with Tejaswini Apte-Rahm, Manoranjan Byapari, Vikramajit Ram, and Manoj Rupda. Explore the
consequences of a single character's decisions on the course of a storyline and the domino effect of actions. This session, supported by the JCB Prize for Literature, invites you to witness authors and translators responding to questions about the voices they championed in the books shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2023. 

2. Fire Bird

Date: February 4

Time: 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

Venue: Jaipur Literature Festival

Panelists: Perumal Murugan and Kannan Sundaram in conversation with Manas Subramaniam

Description: Join the captivating conversation with Perumal Murugan, Kannan Sundaram, and Manas Subramaniam as they discuss "Fire Bird." the winner of the 2023 JCB Prize for Literature. Delving into Murugan's transcendent work, translated from Tamil to English by Janani Kannan, the session explores the novel's profound exploration of displacement, movement, and the human quest for permanence in an ever-changing world. 

3. The Library: A Community of Ideas

Date: February 4

Time: 04:00 PM - 04:50 PM

Panelists: Usha Mujoo Munshi, Rituparna Neog, and Mridula Koshy in conversation with Asad Lalljee

Description: Embark on a journey into the world of libraries with Usha Mujoo Munshi, Rituparna Neog, and Mridula Koshy, in conversation with Asad Lalljee. Presented by the JCB Foundation, this session explores the role of libraries as the birthplace of a love for books and reading. The panel discusses the vision of an accessible library network for all, reflecting the JCB Foundation's commitment to literacy and literary outreach. 

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. JCB’s desire to create an enduring cultural legacy in India is based on this substantial and long-standing involvement in the country’s social and economic life. 

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 information about the Prize, please visit: For updates, look for @thejcbprize on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Fire Bird by Perumal Murugan, translated from Tamil by Janani Kannan

Paradise of Food originally written by Khalid Jawed, translated by Baran Farooqi

Delhi: A Soliloquy by M Mukundan Jawed, translated by Fathima EV and Nandakumar K

Moustache by S Hareesh, translated into English by Jayasree Kalathil

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

Jasmine Days by Benyamin, translated from the Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib


Manoj Rupda - Manoj Rupda is based in Nagpur (Maharashtra) and writes in Hindi. He is the author of the novels Kaale Adhyaay (of which I Named My Sister Silence is a translation) and Pratisansaar; the collections of stories, Dafan tatha Anya Kahaniyan, Saaz Naasaaz, Aamaazgaah, Tower of Silence, Dahan and Dus Kahaniyan; and a book of essays, Kalaa ka Aaswaad. He is a recipient of the Indu Sharma Katha Puraskar and the Vanmali Katha Samman. 

Manoranjan Byapari - Manoranjan Byapari writes in Bengali. Some of his important works include Chhera Chhera Jibon, Ittibrite Chandal Jibon and the Chandal Jibon trilogy. He taught himself to read and write at the age of twenty-four when he was in prison. He has worked as a rickshaw-puller, a sweeper and a porter. Until 2018, he was working as a cook at the Hellen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Blind in West Bengal. In 2018, the English translation of his memoir, Ittibrite Chandal Jibon (Interrogating My Chandal Life), received the Hindu Prize for non-fiction. In 2019, he was awarded the Gateway Lit Fest Writer of the Year Prize. Also, the English translation of his novel Batashe Baruder Gandha (There’s Gunpowder in the Air) was shortlisted for the JCB Prize 2019, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019, the Crossword Prize 2019 and the Mathrubhumi Book of the Year Prize 2020. The English translation of his novel Chhera Chhera Jibon (Imaan) was shortlisted for the JCB Prize 2022. He also received the Shakti Bhatt Prize this year for his body of work. In 2021, Byapari became a member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly. 

Tejaswini Apte Rahm - Tejaswini Apte-Rahm is a writer from Mumbai. She is the author of the short story collection- These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape, and co- author of The Poop Book! -an environmental education book for children. Tejaswini has worked as a journalist and environmental researcher and has written for Screen, Hindustan Times, the Times of India, and The Asian Age. 

Vikramajit Ram - Vikaramajit Ram is a novelist and non-fiction writer based in Bangalore. A graduate of the National Institute of design, he formerly practiced as a graphic designer. He is the author of a cultural history of the Indian elephant, 'Elephant Kingdom: Sculptures from Indian Architecture'; two travelogues, 'Dreaming Vishnus: A Journey through Central India' and 'Tso and La: A Journey in Ladakh; and a novel, 'The Sun and Two Seas.' 

Somak Ghoshal

Somak Ghoshal is a journalist, writer, and critic based in Delhi. He has written two books for young readers. Currently he works in the education industry. 

Kannan Sundaram

Kannan Sundaram is the Managing Director and Publisher of Kalachuvadu Publication Pvt Ltd. He co-organised ‘Tamil Ini 2000′, an international Tamil conference on 20th century Tamil writing. He has been part of the International Visitor Program to the US, the Frankfurt Book Fair fellowship programme, the Visiting International Publisher programme in Sydney and the
Istanbul Fellowship in 2020. He has written extensively in Tamil and English on media, politics and publishing, and his writings have appeared in several platforms such as The Hindu, The Indian Express and the Economic and Political Weekly. The French government announced the Chevalier award (Odre National du Mérite) for Sundaram in 2022. 

Mansi Subramaniam

Manasi Subramaniam is Editor-in-Chief and Vice-President, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, where she runs the imprints Hamish Hamilton, Viking, Allen Lane, Penguin Classics and Penguin. She has published some of the most exciting new voices across South Asia, including two winners of the Booker Prize, one winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and
several winners and finalists of international awards including the National Book Awards, Folio, JCB, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Women’s Prize, Desmond Elliott, among others. Subramaniam has been recognised for her contributions to global publishing and has been invited to the Frankfurt Buchmesse fellowship, the Bureau International de l'Édition Française fellowship, the Australia Council for the Arts Visiting International Publishers programme, and the Zev Birger fellowship. She has also been a World Fellow at Yale University and a Fisher Family Summer Fellow at Stanford University. 

Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan is an Indian author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes novels in Tamil. Recently, he won the JCB Prize for Literature for his book Fire Bird, and also his work Pyre has been shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. His works include, Seasons of the Palm Current Show, One Part Woman, Poonachi, Trial By Silence, and several others. 

Asad Lalljee

Asad Lalljee is SVP, Essar Group, CEO of Avid Learning, a public programming platform, and Curator, Royal Opera House, Mumbai. Under Lalljee's leadership, Avid has distinguished itself with a variety of arts and cultural programming and is currently at the forefront of India's cultural hub. In 2016, he was appointed curator of the newly restored Royal Opera House, Mumbai, for which he designed a robust program. Lalljee has several years of advertising, publishing, marketing, and business development experience, both in international and domestic markets. He has worked for 14 years in New York with companies like McCann-Erickson and Hill Holiday (IPG). He has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from St. Xavier's College and a Master's in Global Marketing Communications from Emerson College, Boston. 

Mridula Koshy

Mridula Koshy is a free library movement activist, a member of Free Libraries Network's Steering Committee and a Trustee of The Community Library Project in Delhi NCR. She feels lucky to work as a librarian and community organiser because every day there is a chance to work with others to create a more just world. 

Rituparna Neog

Rituparna is a queer rights activists, Associate Vice Chairperson of the Transgender Welfare Board, Assam, Curriculum Coordinator of the Free Library Network and Ubrary Starter and Grassroots Librarian. 

Usha Mujoo Munshi

Dr. Usha Mujoo Munshi is President, Information and Communication Society of India. A Fulbright Scholar, she has served at many prestigious organizations and is currently with India International Centre (IIC). She has contributed substantially to digital library and digitisation projects and been instrumental in setting up e-resources and e-research journal projects way back in 1999/2000. She has also contributed to the Open Access (OA) movement and initiated several initiatives in this direction. Having travelled widely, she has delivered several lectures across the world.


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