Chinese author, Bi Feiyu, wins the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize

17 March 2011

Hong Kong – Bi Feiyu was today announced the winner of the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel Three Sisters.

Bi was named the winner at a black tie prize dinner at the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, receiving a cash award of USD$30,000. The novel's translators Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin will share a cash prize of USD$5,000.

The author becomes the third Chinese writer to win the Prize in its four year history. The three winning novels by Chinese authors have all been translated by Howard Goldblatt.

The winner said, "I am extremely honoured to receive the Man Asian Literary Prize tonight. Although this is a young prize, I now believe that in a very short time it will become a very important prize in Asia. I expect that it will be taken very seriously by all serious writers in Asia."

The three distinguished judges for this year's Prize were Monica Ali, Homi K. Bhabha and Hsu-Ming Teo. The full shortlist of five books were:

  • Three Sisters by Bi Feiyu
  • Serious Men by Manu Joseph
  • The Thing About Thugs by Tabish Khair
  • The Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
  • Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa

Commenting on Three Sisters, the judges said the novel was, "A moving exploration of Chinese family and village life during the Cultural Revolution, that moves seamlessly between the epic and the intimate, the heroic and the petty, illuminating not only individual lives but an entire society, within a gripping tale of familial conflict and love."

Professor David Parker, Chair of the Board of Directors of the MALP, said, "In its understanding of women trapped by the petty cruelties of provincial life, Three Sisters reaches the heights of the great Russian play its title echoes"

The Prize Dinner was attended by over 100 guests, including Mr. Peter Clarke, Chief Executive of Man Group Plc and Mr. Raymond Young, Hong Kong Permanant Secretary for Home Affairs.

This is the first time the MALP has been awarded to a published novel, having previously only been awarded to an unpublished manuscript. Previous winners of the MALP are Jiang Rong, Wolf Totem (China, 2007), Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado (Phlippines, 2008) and Su Tong, The Boat to Redemption (China, 2009).

A total of 54 works from all over Asia were submitted this year, with a longlist of 10 novels being announced in December 2010. The shortlist was announced this February. Submissions for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize open in May.

Bi Feiyu

Three Sisters

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Telegram Books

Bi Feiyu is one of the most respected authors and screenwriters in China today. He was born in 1964 in Xinghua, in the province of Jiangsu, China. He started to write at a young age, and worked as a journalist for a newspaper in Nanjing. He began writing poetry, then novels, of which several have been awarded literary prizes, including the Xu Lun prize 1995-96. In his writing, Feiyu often describes the confrontation between the individual and history, both personal and collective. He is also author of the novel and screenplay for Shanghai Triad, made into an iconic film by Zhang Yimou. His most recent novel Tui Na, a big success in China, is represented by Nurnberg Associates, along with all other backlist titles.

About the novel

Three Sisters begins with the birth of the Wang family's eighth child, a long sought-after boy. But the stars of this novel are not boys, but women - three of Little Eight's sisters. From the petty treachery of the village to the slogans of the Cultural Revolution to the harried pace of city life, these three women strive to change the course of their destinies as they battle against an infinite ocean of people, in a China that does not truly belong to them. Three Sisters is an irreplaceable portrait of contemporary Chinese culture - of lives unknown, but immediately familiar.

Press enquiries

Please contact Harrison Kelly at media@manasianliteraryprize.org or (+852) 5345 4130.

Notes to Editors

About the Man Asian Literary Prize

The Man Asian Literary Prize was founded in 2007. It is an annual literary award given to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English, and published in the previous calendar year. The judges choose a longlist of 10 to 15 titles announced in December, followed by a shortlist of 5 to 6 titles announced in February, and a winner is awarded in March. The winning author is awarded USD 30,000 and the translator (if any) USD 5,000. Submissions are invited through publishers based in any country.

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Additional information is available at www.manasianliteraryprize.org

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