NEW DELHI: Two Pakistani authors are among the five frontrunners for 2015 DSC Prize, one of South Asia's biggest literary awards, according to the shortlist announced in London on Thursday.
The Pakistani writers selected are first-time novelist Bilal Tanweer for The Scatter Here Is Too Great and Kamila Shamsie for A God in Every Stone.
Pakistani author Omar Shahid Hamid, who had also been longlisted for his novel The Prisoner, did not make the cut.
Jhumpa Lahiri, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, is also in the running for her entry The Lowland, a tale of Indian brothers bound by tragedy. The novel was also shortlisted for the Man Booker prize last year.
Other finalists include London-based Romesh Gunesekera, who was a finalist for the Booker prize two decades ago and India's Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, who is nominated for his novel which he translated from Urdu.
Other nominees who did not make it to the finalists, include: And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, The Gypsy Goddess by Meena Kandasamy, Helium by Jaspreet Singh and Mad Girl’s Love Song by Rukmini Bhaya Nair.
The five writers on the 2015 shortlist are a step closer to winning the $50,000 awarded to the author of the best novel about South Asia published or translated into English.
Keki Daruwalla, the chair of judges, described the selections as "moving, challenging, and thought-provoking".
"There were moments of great beauty in the multiple narratives and the jury was impressed by the deep structure of each book and the way characters were developed," Daruwalla said in a statement.
The jury selected the finalists from 75 novels submitted for the award, now in its fifth year. The winner will be announced at the annual literature festival in the Indian city of Jaipur in January.
The finalists are:
Bilal Tanweer for The Scatter Here is Too Great (Vintage Books/Random House)
Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland (Vintage Books/Random House)
Kamila Shamsie for A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury)
Romesh Gunesekera for Noontide Toll (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin)
Shamsur Rahman Faruqi for The Mirror of Beauty (Penguin Books)