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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

entry arrow8:09 PM | The Longlist for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize



Guess what I found in the mail inbox today. Some good news -- great news, in fact. My novel, Sugar Land, has just been long-listed in the second year of competition of the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize. (Last year, Jose Dalisay Jr. was shortlisted for Soledad's Sister, now out in bookstores everywhere.) And do you know what's even sweeter? I'm in the company of three other Filipinos, all of them very good friends: Lakambini Sitoy for Sweet Haven, Miguel Syjuco for Ilustrado, and Krip Yuson for The Music Child. Filipinos compose the largest batch of nominees, second to the Indians. (About time!) And for this alone, I feel greatly honored.

Seriously, I don't think I'll get into the short list. The other names are quite formidable. As Oscar hopefuls would say, "It's honor enough to be nominated." Char! This means harder work for me in the next few days as I try to complete and polish off that manuscript before a certain deadline in August. Oh God.

The press release from Hong Kong goes:

The Administrative Committee for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize has today announced the longlist of works for this prize:

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

This longlist of 21 unpublished works of Asian fiction in English will be reviewed and evaluated by the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize judges, who will announce a shortlist of works in October 2008. The winner will be announced on Thursday, 13 November at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong.

The judging panel for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize is Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada (Chair); Nicholas Jose, writer, scholar and former Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in China; and Pankaj Mishra, acclaimed Indian writer and thinker.

The 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize longlist was chosen from submissions received from all over Asia. The largest single group of submissions was from India, followed by the Philippines. The rest came from other countries throughout the region. The Prize received submissions from well-established as well as first-time authors, and entries included translated works as well as works originally in English.

Peter Gordon, Executive Director of the Man Asian Literary Prize said: "The long list, which contains unpublished works from throughout the region from Japan to Pakistan, demonstrates once again the depth and diversity of Asian contemporary writing. We were pleased that many of the works on last year's long list were published or are scheduled for publication, and we hope that highlighting Asian writers will have a similar effect this year and in the years to come."

Go, Team Philippines!

[UPDATE]

And, like Miguel (who said it first in his Facebook), I'm also tickled to see all our names in The New York Times' Paper Cuts blog. And the The Guardian's James Wignall notes the strong showing of Filipino writers in the list. (Link sent in by Ed Maranan.)

Here's hoping that's a good sign of things to come.

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