Author M Mukundan won the 2021 JCB prize for Literature on Saturday, 13 November, for his book 'Delhi: A Soliloquy'. The book, which has originally been written in Malayalam has been translated into English by Fathima EV and Nandakumar K.
The novel, published by Westland, is a story about Delhi through the eyes of its Malayali youth protagonists.
Mukundan received the Prize trophy, which is a sculpture by Delhi artist duo Thukral and Tagra entitled ‘Mirror Melting’, and he will receive a prize amount of Rs 25 lakh.
While receiving the award, Mukundan said that the award is dedicated to the poor and hungry people on the streets of Delhi.
This is the third translation to have won the JCB award in the last four years. One of the five judges describes the book as:
“History writes with a big brush. Its concerns are with headline events, with the lives of the big and the powerful. M Mukundan’s Delhi: A Soliloquy is a history with a small ‘h’, and its concerns are the little people in the cracks and crevices of that history — their lives and loves and hopes and despairs that play out unnoticed against the backdrop of seismic change.”Prem Panicker
The jury for this award comprised Sara Rai (Chair), Annapurna Garimella, Shahnaz Habib, Prem Panicker, and Amit Varma.