The winner of an international literary award has said he will donate part of the prize money to the “people of Kashmir who have been maimed and killed for many decades.”
Author Anuk Arudpragasam made the announcement after winning the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his debut novel on the concluding day of the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh on Saturday.
Jury chair Ritu Menon described The Story of a Brief Marriage set during the Civil War in Sri Lanka as a “remarkable novel”, saying it had “several exceptional qualities.”
Arudpragasam said he would donate one third of the $25,000 prize money to organisations working in north east Sri Lanka, Rohingya community “whose plight is very similar to now what our community faced and has been facing for many years and also to the people of Kashmir who have been maimed and killed for many decades.”
“Writers are not race car drivers. We are not in some kind of a race. We are all working in silence, we write because we believe there are things that cannot be communicated in speech. I wasn’t smiling so much because it is a funny thing to be rewarded or to be recognized for something that is so tragic. My novel as i said is about the genocide in 2008 and 2009. So it feels a bit insincere to be too excited or too happy about it ,”Arudpragasam said.
Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Arudpragasam studied philosophy at Stanford University and is working on a PhD in philosophy at Columbia University.
Featured photo: Anuk Arudpragasam/ Halik Azeez)