JCB Prize 2022: The Paradise of Food, an Urdu novel in English, winner

Urdu writer Khalid Jawed’s book Ne’mat Khana, translated into English by Baran Farooqi as Food Heaven, wins 2022 JCB Prize for Literature



“Food Heaven” by author Khalid Jawed, translated by Baran Farooqi from Urdu, won the fifth JCB Prize for Literature on Saturday.

The book, originally published as “Ne’mat Khana” in 2014, is the fourth translation to win the award and the first work in Urdu.

“Food Heaven” tells the story of a common middle-class Muslim family over a period of fifty years where the narrator struggles to find a place for himself, at odds in his home and in the outside world. .

Read also : Khalid Jawed and Baran Farooqi in conversation, for Living room

Jawed received the cash prize from 25 lakh with a trophy – a sculpture by Delhi artist duo Thukral and Tagra, ‘Mirror Melting’.

Baran Farooqi also received another 10 lakh for the price.

On receiving the award, Jawed exclaimed that he never expected his book to win this recognition. “We seek happiness every day and in different corners of our world. But today is when I felt true happiness. I wrote this novel in 2014 and today is when it been recognized,” he said.

Jawed added that it was thanks to Farooqi’s skill in transporting his world to another world that the novel won the prize.

The winner was selected by a panel of five judges, consisting of journalist and publisher AS Panneerselvan, author Amitabha Bagchi, author-academician Rakhee Balaram, translator-historian J Devika and author Janice Pariat.

Speaking of the winning entry, Panneerselvan said it was “a celebration of the human spirit, of hope, of loss, of yearning and of angst”.

“It is a beautiful artistic achievement where the aesthetic negotiates a difficult political trajectory that haunts our country. The carnivalesque element makes it a modern fable”, added the president of the jury.

A shortlist like no other in the history of the prize, which included translation only, also included the novel “Tomb of Sand” by Geetanjali Shree (translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell) and “Imaan” by Manoranjan Byapari ( translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha).

Read also : JCB Prize for Literature 2022: 6 translations on the long list

It was also the first time that Hindi and Nepali language titles were shortlisted for the literary prize.

The shortlist also included early books “Song of the Soil” by Chuden Kabimo (translated from Nepali by Ajit Baral) and “Valli” by Sheela Tomy, (translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil).

Each of the shortlisted authors also received 1 lakh, and translators 50,000.

The award was instituted by the JCB Literature Foundation, a non-profit corporation, in 2018 to promote the art of literature in India.