Readersforum's Blog

January 9, 2013

Man Asian literary prize shortlist stages Booker re-match

The Garden of Evening Mists,Jeet Thayil and Tan Twan Eng, shortlisted for last year’s Booker prize, are up against each other again on the shortlist for Asian literature award.

By Alison Flood

Jeet Thayil and Tan Twan Eng, who last clashed on the shortlist for the Man Booker prize, are going head to head again after both authors made the final cut for the Man Asian literary prize.

Worth $30,000 (£19,00), the award goes to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English. Indian poet Thayil is shortlisted for Narcopolis, set in the opium dens of old Bombay, and Malaysian author Eng for The Garden of Evening Mists, which takes place during the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Malaya.

They are up against Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, selected for his novel Silent House, a “dark family saga”, according to chair of judges journalist Maya Jaggi, set in a “decrepit mansion at a Turkish seaside resort, on the eve of a military coup”. The shortlist of five is rounded out by Japanese writer Hiromi Kawakami’s The Briefcase, in which the “ambiguous relationship between an office worker nearing 40 and her former literature teacher, a retired widower, is traced with astonishing delicacy and humour”, said Jaggi, and Between Clay and Dust by Pakistani author Musharraf Ali Farooqi, the story – and tragedy – of a champion wrestler.

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