Cyrus Mistry: Rising from the Ashes


Cyrus Mistry, winner of the 2014 DSC prize for South Asian Literature, and younger brother of the famous novelist Rohinton Mistry, is one of the most interesting but least celebrated Indians writing in English: The Indian Express

CyrusMistryThat’s Cyrus Mistry?” asked a prosperous-looking gentleman, pointing an incredulous finger at the frail, rather ascetic figure holding court in the Durbar Hall at the Jaipur Literature Festival. “That’s not the Tata Group guy! Sorry, not interested.” He turned and left grandly, as if spurning a charlatan.

But he was probably kicking himself just hours later last Saturday when Cyrus Mistry won the DSC prize for South Asian Literature, worth about Rs 30 lakh, for his novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer.

Neither did Google think much of Cyrus Mistry until Saturday. The world’s leading valuer of human capital took little notice of one of the most interesting but least celebrated Indians writing in English. Searching for his name used to return results for the more famous Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, chairman of the Tata Group. But within hours of the award, the business leader had been shouldered aside by the frail and retiring writer. What will he do with the prize money? “Pay off my debts, which are substantial,” he says. “Stop working for a living in Mumbai and move back to Kodaikanal, where there’s more mental space. In fact, without this prize, my next book would have been impossible to write.”

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