Announcing the “Shadow” Man Asian Literary Prize 2011

Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize 2011 Badge

Image by Matt Todd of A Novel Approach

Our announcement …

In a carefully co-ordinated announcement across three continents – Europe, North America and Australia – I am now able to announce that the Shadow team’s winner for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize is: Please Look After Mother (or Mom) by Kyung-sook Shin.

It was – and was not – an easy decision. It was an easy decision because some of the Shadow team loved the book, and it was not because others did not. However, when we tallied our individual rankings Kyung-sook Shin’s book came out on top. I’m not sorry, of course, because I liked it. Members of our team described it as ‘a heart-warming story of family’, ‘a deceptively simple novel’,  and ‘a splendid work of literary fiction.’

I managed to read 6 of the 7 shortlisted books. (My review of Amitav Ghosh’s River of smoke will be posted in a day or so). I did find it somewhat hard to rank them as, I think, did most of our members. Here is my assessment of their prize chances (which, funnily enough, roughly equates with my rankings):

  • My top choices: Please look after mother (or Mom) and Dream of Ding Village. 
  • My runners up: Rebirth and River of smoke
  • Dark horse: Wandering falcon
  • My long shot: The lake

Unfortunately, I only managed to read a few pages of The sly company of people who care.

The formal stuff…

The ‘Shadow’ MAN Asian Literary Prize is entirely independent of the official MAN Asian Literary Prize, whose winner will be announced on Thursday March 15, and of the MAN Group. The ‘Shadow’ Prize is intended to highlight the main Prize by broadening the discussion about the long- and short-listed titles via the social networking community. Links to all ‘Shadow’ Jury reviews and interviews can be found on my Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize page.

I would like to thank all the members of the Shadow team: Lisa at ANZLitLovers; Matt at A Novel Approach; Fay at Read, Ramble; Stu (who is now hosting a Shadow International Foreign Fiction Prize) at Winston’s Dad, and Mark at Eleutherophobia.

Special thanks to:

  • Kevin from Kevin from Canada whose concept of the Shadow Giller Prize provided our inspiration;
  • Matt who designed the Logo;
  • Mark who has coordinated the press releases across the globe; and last but not least
  • Lisa for asking me to join the group.

All we have to do now is wait until Thursday to see what book the official jury chooses! And whichever it is, it’s sure to be a good’un!

NOTE: There will be no Monday Musings this week: the announcement of our Shadow Man Asian winner has overshadowed it! Watch this space again next week!

12 thoughts on “Announcing the “Shadow” Man Asian Literary Prize 2011

  1. This goes on the wishlist. I enjoyed your review and look forward to reading literature from a part of the world (Korea) I have not explored in that way at all. And thanks to all the Shadow Asian Man Literary Prize 2011 jury members. I appreciate these shadow juries for giving some well-developed reasons for their choices (and for providing a nice range of views on each of the contenders).

    Great job. I am already looking forward to next year.

    • Thanks Kerry … I’d be interested in your comments if you get to read it. It does have its naysayers … It’s a book that does depend to some degree on your point of view and on “how” you read … Which I might explain more if you read it!

  2. Thanks Sue. It’s interesting what you say about ‘Sly Company’. I must admit, when I first picked it up, I read the first few pages and didn’t rate it. It was only when I forced myself to try again, that I got into it and ultimately liked it. Don’t think it’ll win though. And if The Lake wins, I’ll.. I’ll… well, I won’t be pleased!

    • thanks Mark … I wasn’t totally against Sly and would have continued if I’d had the time but with Ding and River waiting I felt after a few pages that I’ rather focus on them. As it’s a library book I had to return it. I plan to post my River review tomorrow ….

  3. Oh I have so enjoyed reading about the Man Asia prize – so many books and I’ve read so few. But they’re all on the wish list and I will get to them I’m sure – hopefully within the year before I have another batch to deal with.

    • Thanks Bekah … Would love to know what you think as you read them. Will go back to read the group’s River discussion …. Was sorry I didn’t get it read in time to take part.

  4. Hi Sue

    Just a note to apologise for my sudden departure from the book blogging scene. I have so many other things to do that it was becoming burdensome to me. I intend to relaunch my site in due course focusing on just a few favourite authors – based on some of my more in-depth reviews iwith only occasional updates.

    Thank you for your comments on my ramblings which were always much appreciated. Its been great to see Whispering Gums develop and I’ll keep dropping in to see what you’re up to here.

    best, Tom

    • Oh Tom, it’s great to hear from you … I was just thinking yesterday that I must contact you as I’ve missed seeing your blog posts. I completely understand where you are … but it’s sad when you develop a contact/rapport and they disappear. It happens in physical life too doesn’t it – you move towns, jobs, activities and people you know suddenly drop off the radar. But, glad to hear you plan to relaunch. I’m always keen to see you art, hear about your music and your priory so you don’t have to stick to books you know! Anyhow, I’m still subscribed so as long as you use the same site I’ll be there when you next post!

    • Ha, Stefanie, indeed. While the book we chose was a clear winner, it wasn’t the top choice of all os us (but was top or second of most of us). There was quite a cluster around our second highest ranking so I think it will be close. There are a couple I’d be surprised if they one but otherwise I reckon it’s a coin toss! Great books. How do you judge?

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