Monica Ali on jury of Man Asian Literary Prize

Hong Kong/New Delhi, July 12 (Calcutta Tube) The Man Asian Literary Prize Monday announced its new panel of judges, including British novelist of Indian origin Monica Ali of ‘Brick Lane’ fame, to judge the submissions for the 2010 award in a restructured format.

Harvard University don Homi K. Bhabha and Chinese cultural historian Tsu Ming-Teo are also on the panel, which has been reduced from six to three. The cash value of the prize has now increased to $30,000 from $10,000.

The prize, instituted in 2007 to honour the best of Asian writing in English, was earlier awarded to any work of contemporary fiction, both published and unpublished, submitted by an author.

In a strategic shift, it will now be awarded to a published literary work that is ‘already available to readers’, David Parker, who chairs the prize board, said in a communique Monday.

‘The Man Asian Literary Prize has a new format for 2010 and with three eminent judges, we begin a new era for the prize,’ Parker said.

‘At the same time we remain, through the excellence and dedication of our judges, committed to our first goal: to identify an international readership for the best of contemporary Asian fiction,’ he said.

The new format allows the literary community, media and general public to participate in reading, discussing and comparing the books shortlisted by the judges.

For the 2010 prize, judges will select a long list of 15 titles in December 2010, which will be pared down to a short list of six in February 2011.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Hong Kong March 2011.

The previous jury included the former governor general of Canada Adrienne Clarkson, Irish novelist Colm Toibin, Indian writer Pankaj Mishra, Chinese American novelist Gish Gen, Australian novelist Nicholas Jose and New York-based critic Andre Aciman.

The prize had earlier been won by Jiang Rong for his novel ‘Wolf Totem (2007)’, Miguel Syjuco for ‘Illustrado (2008)’ and Su Tong for ‘The Boat to Redemption (2009)’.

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