Jhumpa Lahiri won a $50,000 award, “The DCS Prize for South Asian Literature,” which was presented to Jhumpa Lahiri for THE LOWLAND, by an entity I also never heard of previously. First, DCS was impossible for me to find after an extensive Internet search, so I had to call the Hugo House, a prominent writers retreat in Seattle, for a definition.
I learned that DCS refers to an infrastructure and construction company in India that has sponsored the hefty reward. The monetary prize was created in 2010 and I noticed that this year will be DCS’s last involvement. The second issue I found it hard to fathom was how an award of this size skipped under the radar (or at lease mine, ha ha).
This stipend for Ms. Lahiri, which matches the Kirkus award, is one of the larger monetary prizes I’m aware of, and I remain surprised that it was never discussed at length in the normal channels. It’s academic now, as the award ends this year, but $50,000 can be life-changing for someone in a third-world country, and I certainly would have publicized this writing competition, as I have many Indian Newsletter subscribers.