Khalid Jawed’s The Paradise of Food, translated from the Urdu by Baran Farooqi wins the 2022 JCB Prize for Literature
The Paradise of Food by Khalid Jawed translated by Baran Farooqi, published by Juggernaut, was announced the winner of the 25-lakh- JCB Prize for Literature, at the Oberoi, New Delhi.
New Delhi, November 23, 2022: The Paradise of Food by Khalid Jawed translated by Baran Farooqi, published by Juggernaut, was announced the winner of the 25-lakh- JCB Prize for Literature, at the Oberoi, New Delhi. The winner was announced by Lord Bamford, Chairman, JCB, virtually, during the hybrid event, where the trophy was handed over to the winning author by Sunil Khurana, Chief Operating Officer, JCB India and AS Panneerselvan, Chair of Jury for 2022. A bildungsroman of a man (and society) where food triggers memory and tragedy The Paradise of Food tells the story of a middle-class Muslim joint family over a span of fifty years where the narrator, whose life one follows from boyhood to old age, struggles to find a place for himself, at odds in his home and in the world outside.
The Paradise of Food is the fourth translation to win the award and the first work in Urdu. Khalid Jawed also received the Prize trophy, which is a sculpture by Delhi artist duo Thukral and Tagra, entitled ‘Mirror Melting.’
The award ceremony commenced with a welcome note from the Literary Director of the Prize, Mita Kapur, following an address by Deepak Shetty, CEO & Managing Director, JCB India. The evening was brightened by an amalgamation of classical dance performances by Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra, leading up to the announcement.
The book was selected by a panel of five judges, out of the JCB Prize’ most diverse shortlist yet by AS Panneerselvan (Jury Chair), Amitabha Bagchi, Dr. J Devika, Janice Pariat and Rakhee Balaram. Members of the esteemed jury were unanimous in their praise for The Paradise of Food.
AS Panneerselvan (Jury Chair): “The Paradise of Food is a celebration of human spirit, hope, loss, aspirations, and anxiety. It is a fine artistic achievement where aesthetics negotiates a difficult political trajectory that is haunting our country. The carnivalesque element makes this a modern fable.”
Janice Pariat: “This rare, beautiful book achieves, with exquisite, startling, singing prose, what few others have in recent and not-so-recent-years—a microscopic yet epic exploration of humanity in all its ugliness and beauty, its cruelty and kindnesses, its silliness and wisdom. I was left amazed, enthralled, thrilled.
Amitabha Bagchi: “This singular and moving book shines a scintillating light on the violence at the heart of human civilization. The language contains several beautiful and unusual formulations that are a literary achievement by both the author and the extremely skilled translator. A literary landmark in a less celebrated genre of Urdu’s grand literary tradition, this work deserves to be widely read in India and beyond.”
Dr. J Devika: “The Paradise of Food works like a powerful ice-pick in the winter of civilizational crisis that has engulfed the countries of South Asia. And it does this by mobilising the poetic powers of Urdu, placing liberation above nation-building, which we think is the work of a novel. The translation is perfect and inspired.”
Rakhee Balaram: “A book of indescribable brilliance, Khalid Jawed's The Paradise of Food blazes a trail and redefines the contemporary Indian novel. Beauty and horror, sacred and profane, the book attracts and repels us as we turn each page. Our understanding of the personal and political intersect through the food and kitchen in the most unforgettable ways.”