Perumal Murugan’s Pyre Breaks Barriers as First Tamil Novel to be Longlisted for UK Literary Prize

Perumal Murugan, an Indian Tamil-language novelist and professor of Tamil literature, has been longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023 for his novel “Pyre.” The prize is awarded annually for a novel or short story collection written in any language, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland.

The prize money of £50,000 (Rs 50 lakh) is split equally between the author and translator of the winning book. The shortlist of six books will be announced on April 18, and the winner on May 23. Murugan’s work chronicles the everyday lives of Tamil rural folk, their traditions and social hierarchies, with several of his books critiquing the caste system and how it operates through oppression and violence.

The nomination is significant as it acknowledges the literature in Tamil and the portrayal of caste and caste-based atrocities in art forms. Murugan’s “Pyre” is the first Tamil novel to be longlisted for the International Booker Prize.