Past Nobel Prize Winner Heads The Literary Prize List

by Rathi Manohar on  December 15, 2010 at 12:23 AM General Health News
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Japanese author Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature,heads the longlist for the Man Asian Literary Prize, it was announced.
 Past Nobel Prize Winner Heads The Literary Prize List
Past Nobel Prize Winner Heads The Literary Prize List

Six titles by Indian authors were named on the 10-strong list vying for Asia's answer to the Man Booker Prize, which comes with a 30,000-dollar winner's cheque.

Authors from China and the Philippines also made the list selected from a total of 54 titles from 14 different Asian countries submitted to the judges, led by "Brick Lane" author Monica Ali.

"The judges have encountered the best of new fiction from across the region, from India to China, from the Philippines to Japan, and the longlist reflects this diversity," Ali said in a statement.

"As a reader I have been entertained, moved and also informed -- new worlds have opened up."

Oe's "The Changeling" tells the story of one man's search to find out why his brother-in-law killed himself.

The list includes "Three Sisters", a portrait of contemporary Chinese culture by Bi Feiyu, and "Way To Go" by Indian author Upamanyu Chatterjee, a tale about an 85-year-old man who goes missing on his deathbed.

Other books by Indian authors to make the list are "Dahanu Road" by Anosh Irani, "Serious Men" by Manu Joseph, "The Thing About Thugs" by Tabish Khair, "Monkey-man" by Usha K.R. and "Tiger Hills" by Sarita Mandanna.

"Below the Crying Mountain" by Filipina writer Criselda Yabes is set during the Moro rebellion that broke out in Sulu, in the Philippines, in the 1970s.

"Hotel Iris" by Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa is set in a crumbling seaside hotel and follows a quiet, 17-year-old girl who finds herself drawn to a middle-aged man who has been expelled from a room with a prostitute.

"As the centre of gravity in the world's economy shifts towards Asia, Asian writing will become ever more important," the prize's chairman Professor David Parker told AFP on Monday.

"These works are of an incredibly high standard and dispel some of the myths and stereotypes that people so often have in their minds when it comes to Asia."

Ali and her fellow judges, Harvard literary academic Homi K. Babha and award-winning writer Hsu-Ming Teo, will now work on trimming the titles down to a shortlist of five.

The Man Asian Literary Prize was founded in 2007. The shortlist will be announced by February and the winner unveiled at a dinner in Hong Kong on 17 March.

Source: AFP

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