The three-day literary extravaganza, Dhaka Literary Festival, ended, conferring the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature on Sri Lankan novelist Anuk Arudpragasam on Saturday at Bangla Academy.
Anuk Arudpragasam won the award for his romantic novel The Story of a Brief Marriage, set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war.
Published by Granta Books, UK, the novel was selected by a distinguished panel of jury, who
short-listed five books for the award from 70 initial submissions.
Ritu Menon, an Indian feminist writer who headed the jury, praised the novel which explores human relationships during trying days of war.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith handed over the award to Anuk Arudpragasam at Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium at the closing ceremony of the seventh Dhaka Literary Festival.
‘We, writers, write because we believe that there are things that cannot be communicated in speech’, said Arudpragasam after receiving the award.
The $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was founded in 2010 and over the past seven years has emerged as a major literary award.
The winner declared he would donate a portion of the award cash prize money to the Rohingya refugees.
Praising the festival, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said, ‘Dhaka Lit Fest is exposing our literature to a global audience. Moreover, it has become a platform for confluence of different literatures and cultures’.
Meanwhile, the last day of the festival featured around 30 sessions on diverse engaging topics like freedom of speech, women rights and others by foreign, local writers and literary experts.
Earlier, the festival opened at 10am with presentation of mystic songs by Ujan Bhati Shilpi Goshthi.
This year, the festival saw participation of over 200 writers, experts, researchers and journalists from 24 countries in over 90 sessions.
The festival was produced by Jatrik, with Bangla Academy as the co-host, and supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
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