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Man Asian longlist is announced, led by a Nobel laureate

December 13, 2010 | 12:55 pm

Kenazburooe_1994The Man Asian Literary Prize announced a longlist of 10 books today in the running for its 2010 award. The shining star of the group is Kenzaburo Oe, the Japanese writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994.

Oe's longlisted book, "The Changeling," was published in the U.S. in March. "It is a richly imagined, complex story full of the oddity, irony and existential angst that have long been at the heart of Oe's writing," Scott Esposito wrote in our pages, "only here they are seen more often on the level of plot and structure than on that of sentence and image."

Susan Salter-Reynolds reviewed another longlisted novel, the slender "Hotel Iris" by Yoko Ogawa; she described it as "a strange novel, gorgeously translated."

Three other novels on the longlist have been published in the U.S., meaning that half have not. One is due in March.

To be eligible, a book must have either been written in English or translated into English. That's a change: previously, the requirement was that the books had not yet been published in English. By inverting the rule, the Man Group, which also sponsors the elite Man Booker Prize in England, is moving toward giving the Man Asian Literary Prize greater resonance abroad.

The complete list of longlisted books, by writers from Japan, China, India and the Philippines, is after the jump.

The 10 books longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize:

"Three Sisters" by Bu Feiyu
"Way to Go" by Upamanyu Chatterjee (not yet available in the U.S.)
"Dahanu Road" by Anosh Irani
"Serious Men" by Manu Joseph
"The Thing About Thugs" by Tabish Khair (not yet available in the U.S.)
"Tiger Hills" by Sarita Mandanna (coming to the U.S. in March)
"The Changeling" by Kenzaburo Oe
"Hotel Iris" by Yoko Ogawa
"Monkey-Man" by Usha K.R. (not yet available in the U.S.)
"Below the Crying Mountain" by Criselda Yabes (not yet available in the U.S.)

This year, submissions came from authors who hail from 14 countries across Asia. Monica Ali, the British writer who was born in Bangladesh, chairs the three-judge panel.

The shortlist will be announced in February, and the winner, who will receive $30,000, will be announced in March.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: A file photo of Kenzaburo Oe from 1994, the year he won the Nobel Prize for literature. Credit: Associated Press

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