Amitabha Bagchi’s brilliant novel Half the Night Is Gone has won the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019. The announcement was made at a special Award Ceremony at the IME Nepal Literature Festival on 16 December this year in the picturesque city of Pokhara. Honorable Mr. Pradeep Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, along with Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize presented the winner’s trophy to Amitabha Bagchi in an event attended by key dignitaries, literary enthusiasts, writers and media. The DSC Prize has always encouraged diverse voices that bring alive the layered nuances of South Asian life, and Bagchi’s novel, a post-colonial saga that unfolds over three generations, adroitly explores human relationships, and the intertwining of fates and cultures in a thoroughly Indian context. The novel’s amazing attention to details, the inventive use of language, and its memorable and well-defined characters make it an outstanding read.
Jury Chair Harish Trivedi, speaking on behalf of the jury said, “For the five jury members located in five different countries, reading 90 novels in 90 days was a transformative experience. Over the months, we arrived at a diverse and inclusive longlist of 15 and a shortlist of 6 novels, representing the polyphonic richness of the region. It is out of this collective literary churning that there has emerged a winner whose work subsumes many languages and sensibilities.”
Half the Night is Gone is a novel about fatherhood, brotherhood and childhood, love, loyalty and poetry. It seeks to make sense of a new India that came into being after independence. Spellbinding and penetrating, Half the Night Is Gone raises questions of religion, literature and society that speak to our fractured times.