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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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Thursday, October 23, 2008

entry arrow5:50 PM | Chuck and Krip Move on to the Final Round of Man Asian

As I had expected (although I admittedly still kinda hoped against hope, hehehe), yours truly didn't make it to the final round of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, but I am astounded and very happy that two -- TWO! -- Filipinos made it to the short list.

I think this is enough of a stimulus to have the rest of the world start looking into the Philippines and take it seriously as a country brimming with great literature. Here's the press release from the Man Asian organizers:

Kavery Nambisan, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, Miguel Syjuco, Yu Hua and Alfred A. Yuson are the five authors selected for the shortlist by the judging panel for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, the leading regional prize for a novel unpublished in English. The winner of the prize will be announced on Thursday, 13 November 2008 at a ceremony in Hong Kong.

The five shortlisted works, chosen from a longlist of 21, are Kavery Nambisan (The Story that Must Not be Told), Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi (Lost Flamingoes of Bombay), Miguel Syjuco (Ilustrado), Yu Hua (Brothers), and Alfred A. Yuson (The Music Child).

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, chair of the panel of judges for the prize, said: “All the books breathe with a vibrant sense of what the Asian world is today – modern, yet connected to tradition, aware of change but saturated with the past. I really had the sense that I could feel the living vibrant worlds these novels describe.”

”Reading the shortlisted books, I was struck, above all, by their passionate engagement with contemporary realities in India, China and Philippines. They are primarily concerned, as literary novels must be, with the fate of the individual, but they do not exclude or reduce to a mere backdrop the tumultuous changes in Asian societies. By reckoning with these massive social and political dislocations, they recreate the vitality and urgency of the European novel in the 19th century and Latin American Literature in the 20th. I came away from my reading of the longlisted books thinking that Asia may increasingly provide, to the world's literature as well as to its political economy, the all-important stimulus,” said Pankaj Mishra, one of the three judges.

The winner will receive USD 10,000 and can look forward to publication and wider recognition in the English-reading world. There is additionally a USD 3,000 award for the translator (if any).

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 Man Asian Literary Prize was established in 2006 to bring greater worldwide attention to Asian writing and authors. The inaugural prize was awarded in November 2007 to Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, and which was published in English to great acclaim in early 2008. Several short- and longlisted works of the 2007 Prize have since been published.

Congratulations to Chuck and Sir Krip! And please bring home that prize.

And now that the pressure is finally off my shoulders, I'm going off to edit -- brutally -- my novel before I send it for possible publication. Tada!

POST-SCRIPT:

The Guardian has a story on the short list. Although it focuses on the sole Chinese candidate, it contains quotes from Chuck, and one of them goes: "This whole Man Asian Prize hullabaloo suggests maybe my literary experiments and ideas -- which many people have suggested I compromise but which I refused to - are not misguided. Perhaps now I can share my work with the world. I also hope the Man Asian Prize will help spotlight the writing of my Filipino countrymen."

Amen.

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