Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

CCSA's Visiting Scholar, Rana Dasgupta Wins Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage

May 22, 2017

Rana Dasgupta’s Capital: The Eruption of Delhi was awarded the 2017 Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage. 

The award was established in 2010 to commemorate Ryszard Kapuściński, the legendary Polish journalist and writer who died in 2007. Kapuściński’s books about his travels in Africa, Iran and the Soviet Union did much to establish the modern genre of literary political writing. It has previously been won by Liao Yiwu, the trenchant critic of contemporary China, and by the Nobel laureate, Svetlana Alexievich.

Rana Dasgupta’s Capital tells the story of the transformation of one of the world’s largest cities by the new forces of global capital unleashed in India after 1991. Dasgupta’s conversations with Delhi residents – from slum dwellers to billionaires – supply the core of the book, which was previously short-listed for the Orwell Prize and for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.

In Poland, Capital was translated by Barbara Kopeć-Umiastowska and published by Czarne under the title Delhi: Stolica ze złota i snu.  It was selected for this award from a shortlist of five books, which also included Hunger by Martín Caparrós, Leave No Traces by Cezary Łazarewicz, Bieżeństwo Exile 1915 by Aneta Prymaka-Oniszk, and The War is Dead, Long Live the War by Ed Vulliamy.

Rana Dasgupta is also the author of two novels: Tokyo Cancelled (2005) – and Solo (2010), for which he was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

Congratulations, Rana!