NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is one of five frontrunners for next year's DSC Prize, one of South Asia's biggest literary awards, according to the shortlist announced in London on Thursday.
The five writers on the 2015 shortlist are a step closer to winning the $50,000 awarded to the author of the best novel about South Asia published or translated into English.
Bestselling Afghan-born author Khaled Hosseini, whose latest novel "And the Mountains Echoed" had been long-listed along with nine others, did not make the cut.
Jhumpa Lahiri, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, is the best known author on the DSC shortlist with her entry "The Lowland", a tale of Indian brothers bound by tragedy. The novel was also shortlisted for the Man Booker prize last year.
Also in the running are Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie and London-based Romesh Gunesekera, who was a finalist for the Booker prize two decades ago.
Rounding out the list are first-time novelist Bilal Tanweer from Pakistan and India's Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, who is nominated for his novel which he translated from Urdu.
Keki Daruwalla, the chair of judges, described the selections as "moving, challenging, and thought-provoking."
"There were moments of great beauty in the multiple narratives and the jury was impressed by the deep structure of each book and the way characters were developed," Daruwalla said in a statement.
The jury selected the finalists from 75 novels submitted for the award, now in its fifth year. The winner will be announced at the annual literature festival in the Indian city of Jaipur in January.
The finalists are:
* Bilal Tanweer for "The Scatter Here is Too Great" (Vintage Books/Random House)
* Jhumpa Lahiri for "The Lowland" (Vintage Books/Random House)
* Kamila Shamsie for "A God in Every Stone" (Bloomsbury)
* Romesh Gunesekera for "Noontide Toll" (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin)
* Shamsur Rahman Faruqi for "The Mirror of Beauty" (Penguin Books)
Writing by Tony Tharakan; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky