The investment house that sponsors the Booker Prize has begun a new award intended to recognize Asian authors living in the region and writing in their own language, Agence France-Presse reported. The prize, an annual award of $10,000 to be known as the Man Asian Literary Prize, was announced yesterday in Hong Kong and is to be given next autumn for the first time by Man Investments. Robb Corrigan, a spokesman for the company, said, 'There is a specific goal to bring Asian voices to the global stage.' Peter Gordon, director of the Hong Kong Literary Festival, which took part in the announcement, said the prize would be open to writers in 24 countries in a 'triangle defined by Japan, Indonesia and Afghanistan.'"This is a great piece of news, tho' the area in question is pretty huge and incorporates established literary heavyweights India and Japan.
But probably the best thing about the prize is that it is open to those who write in a language other than English. Maybe this will provide a much needed boost for our local sasterawan. (Though they need capable translators.)
It's also interesting that Asian writers living overseas - and by extension perhaps, novels written primarily for a Western audience - are disqualified.
You can download more info about the prize from the Hong Kong Literary Festival website. There's also more about it on the Channel News Asia website