Annual Kiriyama Prizes announced for Asia writers

Just to take your minds off the politcal stand off in Taipei, here’s some book news about Asian writing.

Shan Sa and Inga Clendinnen Win the Annual Kiriyama Prizes (whatever those are)…kinda like the Nobel Lit Prizes for Asia I guess…

Beijing-born writer Shan Sa has won the fiction award of the 8th
annual Kiriyama Prize for The Girl Who Played Go, (Knopf) the first of
her three novels to be translated into English. The book centers on a
16-year-old Chinese girl and a Japanese soldier in war-torn Manchuria
during the 1930s.

The nonfiction award was given to Australian historian Inga Clendinnen
for Dancing with Strangers (Text Publishing, Australia), which
chronicles the culture clash between British settlers and Aboriginal
Australians in the 18th Century.

The Kiriyama Prize recognizes books that promote greater understanding
of Pacific Rim nations. Sponsored by the nonprofit literary
organization Pacific Rim Voices, the awards carry a combined US$30,000
prize, which Sa and Clendinnen will share equally.

In its review of Sa’s novel last year, Publishers Weekly in NYC said the
author “masterfully evokes strife-ridden Manchuria during the 1930s,”
and “portrays tenderness and brutality with equal clarity.”

Dancing is an “immensely
readable book” that portrays the spearing of Governor Phillip at Manly
Cove by an Aborigine warrior in 1790, according to the prize’s