Su Tong in the China Daily

Winning the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009 for his novel The Boat to Redemption expanded the ambit of his influence, winning him more fans outside of China. The story of a disgraced Communist Party official, who lives on a barge, resigned to the life of a social outcast, set against the backdrop of the "cultural revolution" (1966-76) and seen through the eyes of his teenage son, was also a finalist for the Man Booker International in 2011 - but lost to the American heavyweight Philip Roth. "Prizes are a matter of luck," Su says, sitting under the chiaroscuro lighting of a Chinese diner in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. "True, the Man Asian win improved my popularity among English-speakers to an extent, but, at the end of the day, prizes, being the vice-chairman of Jiangsu Writers' Association - these things do not matter. I was reasonably well known in China by the time I was 26. Now I only want to concentrate on my writing."

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