Kiriyama Prize finalists announced

The Kiriyama Prize Web site lists the finalists in fiction and nonfiction. Included on the list is Haruki Murakami’s Dublin prize-winning collection of short stories Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and Kiran Desia’s Booker Prize-winning The Inheritance of Loss.

Details here:

About the fiction finalists

India in the 1980s, at the beginning of the Nepalese movement for an independent state, is the tumultuous backdrop for Kiran Desai’s richly textured, Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Inheritance of Loss. Chinese dissident author Ma Jian’s slender but powerful book of stories set in Tibet, Stick Out Your Tongue, follows the author’s earlier Kiriyama Prize nomination for the nonfiction memoir Red Dust (2001), making Ma Jian the second author (following Luis Alberto Urrea) to be recognized by the Prize judges for both fiction and nonfiction. World-class author and Japanese icon Haruki Murakami dishes out 24 surreal, complex, and often very funny short stories in his collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. In Canadian author Madeleine Thien’s intricately and intelligently constructed first novel Certainty, a producer of radio documentaries in Vancouver unravels the mystery of her parents’ past in Asia. In the darkly beautiful novel Behold the Many, seasoned author and brilliant linguistic stylist Lois-Ann Yamanaka gives us the story of three outcast sisters in turn-of-the-century Hawai’i.

About the nonfiction finalists

Abigail Friedman’s The Haiku Apprentice offers haiku-like, fleeting, but significant glimpses at Japanese culture in a lovingly published volume from Stone Bridge Press. Another small press title gracing the nonfiction shortlist is Blonde Indian, the moving memoir of Ernestine Hayes, who grew up in a Tlingit community in Alaska. The New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea, co-authored by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, chronicles mountaineer Mortenson’s adventurous efforts to build a school for a small village inhabited by the Balti (an Islamic ethnic group) in a remote corner of Pakistan. The great granddaughter of famed naturalist Charles Darwin, Ruth Padel, is a finalist for her Tigers in Red Weather—a paean to the charismatic tiger, a plea to save them from extinction, and a fascinating look at different cultures’ relationship to the animal. And finally, journalist John Pomfret’s thoughtful Chinese Lessons gives voice to the author’s classmates during his studies as a foreign exchange student at Nanjing University and follows the students’ stories from the Cultural Revolution of the ’60s to the present day.

What is the Kiriyama Prize?

The Kiriyama Prize was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia that encourage greater mutual understanding of and among the peoples and nations of this vast and culturally diverse region. The Prize consists of a cash award of US $30,000, which is split equally between the fiction and nonfiction winners.


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