A rojak* of items that caught my eye this week…
Mao Dun Literature Prize
The Mao Dun Literary Prize (茅盾文学奖) is awarded every four years by the Chinese Writers Association. Any novel written by a Chinese national, published in mainland China, and with over 130,000 characters is eligible. If you read Chinese, click here for the full list of this year's contenders - 252 in all. None of the titles in contention has yet been translated into English. For analysis in English from China literary expert Bruce Humes, click here.
Governments Make Bad Editors
PEN America has just released a report Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship. For full details click here.
Indonesian Women and Local Politics: Islam, Gender and Networks in Post-Suharto Indonesia by Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi
In an important social change, female Muslim political leaders in Java have enjoyed considerable success in direct local elections following the fall of Suharto in Indonesia. Newly-published Indonesian Women and Local Politics shows that Islam, gender and social networks have been decisive in their political victories. Islamic ideas concerning female leadership provide a strong religious foundation for their political campaigns. However, their approach to women's issues shows that female leaders do not necessarily adopt a female perspective when formulating policies. This new trend of Muslim women in politics will continue to shape the growth and direction of democratisation in local politics in post-Suharto Indonesia and will colour future discourse on gender, politics and Islam in contemporary Southeast Asia.
Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi is senior researcher at the Research Center for Politics, Indonesian Institute of Sciences in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Published by NUS Press, Singapore, in paperback, USD34
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