Second book in a row from Penguin Random House India to be longlisted
New Delhi, March 2023: Celebrated author Perumal Murugan’s critically acclaimed novel Pyre, translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, has been nominated for this year’s International Booker Prize. The news of the longlist broke yesterday afternoon. This is the second year in a row that a book from Penguin India has been nominated for the prestigious International Booker Prize. Last year, Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand, which was translated from the Hindi byDaisy Rockwell, won the prize, making history by becoming the first South Asian novel to win it. Pyre was first published under the Hamish Hamilton imprint from Penguin Random House India in 2016. It was published in the UK in 2022.
One of Perumal Murugan’s finest works, Pyre has received much critical acclaim. A powerful and devastating tale of innocent young inter-caste love colliding with intolerant savagery, Murugan takes readers through th trials and tribulations of this couple who face horrifying repercussions. Murugan’s spare, yet evocative prose brings to life the terrifying consequences of intolerance and the fragility of love in the face of hatred. Talking about the nomination, author Perumal Murugan says, ‘This is truly a very happy moment for me. I consider this recognition not just for me but also for the Tamil language. My deepest gratitude to my translator, Aniruddhan Vasudevan, as well as to my editors and publishers all over the world, especially to my Tamil publisher, Kannan Sundaram at Kalachuvadu.’
Aniruddhan Vasudevan, the translator of this fine novel, has also translated One Part Woman, Trial By Silence, A Lonely Harvest, Songs of a Coward and Resolve by Perumal Murugan. Later this year, Hamish Hamilton will also publish Perumal Murugan’s Fire Bird in a translation from Janani Kannan.
Manasi Subramaniam, Editor in Chief – Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘This haunting tale of forbidden inter-caste love is a masterpiece of subtlety and nuance, and in my opinion, Murugan’s most savage novel to date. The fact that this work has been recognized is all the more meaningful after the horrors suffered by Murugan for his art. We at Penguin Press are incredibly proud—and, indeed, vindicated—to be associated with such an extraordinary piece of literature.’
Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘’Perumal Murugan is one of the finest writers of our generation, and I hope with this global recognition many more readers from across the world will be drawn to his work. Pyre, published in 2016 in India, was translated into English by Anirudhdhan Vasudevan. It exemplifies the magic and power of storytelling; of love and revenge; and how language and literature can connect people across continents. My heartiest congratulations to Perumal and Anirudhdhan.’
The International Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in translated literature, giving both the author and translator a platform to showcase their exemplary work in translations.
The longlist for the 2023 International Booker Prize also includes 13 titles and their information can be found here. The jury is chaired by prize-winning French-Moroccan novelist, Leïla Slimani. The panel also includes Uilleam Blacker, one of Britain’s leading literary translators from Ukrainian; Tan Twan Eng, the Booker-shortlisted Malaysian novelist; Parul Sehgal, staff writer and critic at the New Yorker; and Frederick Studemann, Literary Editor of the Financial Times.
About the author
Perumal Murugan is the award-winning star of contemporary Tamil literature. He has garnered critical acclaim and commercial success for his vast array of work. His novels have been translated into English to immense acclaim, including Resolve, Rising Heat, Current Show, Pyre, Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize, One Part Woman, which was shortlisted for the Crossword Award, longlisted for the National Book Award for Translation and won the prestigious ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman, and A Lonely Harvest and Trial by Silence, which were shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Fiction. A Lonely Harvest was also longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
About the translator
Aniruddhan Vasudevan writes and translates between Tamil and English. He is currently a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow (2020–2023) at the Princeton Society of Fellows and a lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and Anthropology at Princeton University.