December 4, 2012
Novels showcasing the power of the writing emerging across the whole breadth of Asia were put on display today as the fifteen books longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize were unveiled.
Nine different Asian countries are represented, many of them seen afresh through the eyes of women, migrants and story-tellers on the margins. The list also includes an early intricate and stunning book by Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, now appearing in English for the first time.
Award winning literary critic, journalist and Chair of Judges, Maya Jaggi, said,
“The far-ranging stories on our longlist draw the reader into some beautiful and some grueling landscapes: from the glaciers of northern Pakistan to the unforgiving Saudi desert; from an affluent Istanbul seaside resort to a Bombay opium den - and further afield to Montreal and Mexico. I am delighted to see that range reflected in the breadth of original languages on our list, with novels translated from Chinese, Japanese and Korean, as well as Turkish, French and Malayalam.”
Professor David Parker, Executive Director of the Asian Literary Prize, the organising body of the award, said,
“This list testifies to the strength and variety of new writing coming out of a culturally emergent Asia. It is full of stories the world hasn’t heard before and which the world needs to hear. It brings together seven books in English translation, which means that, as well as introducing exciting debut novelists, the Prize is also bringing to international attention some best-selling and important writers who are little known outside their own language communities.”
The shortlist of 5 or 6 titles will be announced on January 9th 2013. The winner, who will receive USD 30,000, will be announced on March 14th 2013 at a black tie Prize Dinner in Hong Kong, the home of the Prize.