Jeet Thayil, Kerala-born writer, is the winner of the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his novel 'Narcopolis' this year. He has won the award worth USD 50,000 for his debut novel which has the plot related to drugs in a Mumbai setting. He received the award from actor Sharmila Tagore at the ongoing five-day Jaipur Literature Festival.
The DSC Prize was instituted in 2011 and the first DSC award went to Pakistani author HM Naqvi for "Homeboy". In 2012, Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka won the prize for his book "Chinaman".
However, some local Muslim groups slammed his selection saying it was done to "provoke" their sentiments since Thayil had read excerpts from "The Satanic Verses" after Salman Rushdie's visit to Jaipur was cancelled last year.
"It was the story that I know very well. I have lived that life in Mumbai and I always that thought it was the chronicle of a life that was never been documented in fiction and I thought it would be a worthwhile story to be told," said Thayil after receiving the award from actor Sharmila Tagore.
The other books in the running were The Wandering Falcon; Our Lady of Alice Bhatti; The Good Muslim; River of Smoke and The Walls of Delhi.
Last year, Thayil had received the Sahitya Akademi award for his poetry collection titled "These Errors are Correct". Thayil is credited for introducing new areas of feelings and emotions to Indian literature related to pleasures and pains of drugs and alcohol, sex and death.