23 July 08 | Chad W. Post

The Man Asian Literary Prize is an annual award for the best Asian novel unpublished in English. As stated on the website, the prize has three main goals:

  • To bring exciting new Asian authors to the attention of the world literary community;
  • To facilitate publishing and translation of Asian literature in and into English; and
  • To highlight Asia’s developing role in world literature.

Last year (the inaugural year for the award), the winner was Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, which was promptly translated into English and published to mixed reviews.

Yesterday the long list for the 2008 award was announced:

Tulsi Badrinath, Melting Love
Hans Billimoria, Ugly Tree
Ian Rosales Casocot, Sugar Land
Han Dong, Banished!
Anjum Hasan, Neti, Neti
Daisy Hasan, The To-Let House
Abdullah Hussein, The Afghan Girl
Tsutomu Igarashi, To the Temple
Rupa Krishnan, Something Wicked This Way Comes
Murong Xuecun, Leave Me Alone, Chengdu
Kavery Nambisan, The Story that Must Not be Told
Sumana Roy, Love in the Chicken’s Neck
Vaibhav Saini, On the Edge of Pandemonium
Salma, Midnight Tales
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, Lost Flamingoes of Bombay
Lakambini A. Sitoy, Sweet Haven
Sarayu Srivatsa, The Last Pretence
Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado
Amit Varma, My Friend, Sancho
Yu Hua, Brothers
Alfred A. Yuson, The Music Child

The Man Asian Literary Prize website does have short bios for each of these authors (and sometimes contact info), although I think they would have a better chance of accomplishing their goals if they had excerpts online. Or printed a “Man Asian Prize Sampler” with 10-15 page excerpts from each of the longlist finalists. That sort of publication would go a long way with publishers, and I’m sure there are a number of Chinese translators out there that would be interested in working on something like this . . .

In terms of the Prize, the five finalists will be announced around November 1st, with the winner being announced at the end of November.

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