A few days ago the Man Asian Literary Prize (aka the Asian Booker) announced the long list for its 2007 prize. Amid a large number of Indian candidates were a few familiar names: Mo Yan’s Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, Xu Xi’s manuscript Habit of a Foreign Sky, Guo Xiaolu’s 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, and Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem. Fleeting Light by Taiwanese writer Egoyan Zheng is also up there.
Five out of twenty-three: not a terrible showing for China, though clearly we’re not cranking them out like the Indians are (apparently two-thirds of submissions came from South Asia). It’s a happy day for Howard Goldblatt as well – the English versions of Wolf Totem and Life and Death are Wearing Me Out are both his handiwork.
The three-judge panel will select a five-book short list in October, and announce the winner November 10th in Hong Kong.