It is our great pleasure to announce the winner of the Shadow Jury’s Man Asian Literary Prize for 2012.
The four-member Shadow Jury has chosen Narcopolis, by Jeet Thayil.
Described variously by the members of the jury as a “strangely compelling” and “utterly, compellingly addictive” novel that “marries a beautiful prose style with some deeply unbeautiful subject matter”, this novel could not be further apart from our winner last year, Please Look After Mother, by Kyung-sook Shin. The fact that such different novels can win the same prize is a testament to the breadth and depth of Asian writing uncovered by the Man Asian Literary Prize. Full reviews of the novel are available at each participating blog.
If Narcopolis wins the Man Asian Literary Prize, it will be the first debut novel to do so under the new rules introduced in 2010.
The Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize Jury was formed in 2010 to promote the Man Asian Literary Prize throughout the world. It comprises four bloggers: Matthew Todd (http://matttodd.wordpress.com), Lisa Hill (http://anzlitlovers.com), Mark Staniforth (http://eleutherophobia.wordpress.com) and Stu Allen (https://winstonsdad.wordpress.com). In its first year, it correctly picked the winner of the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize, Please Look After Mother, by Kyung-sook Shin.
The Man Asian Literary Prize began in 2007 as a prize for unpublished manuscripts, though was revamped in 2010 to recognise the best Asian novel each year. The official Man Asian Literary Prize winner for 2012 will be announced in Hong Kong on Thursday 14 March 2013.