Asian Books Blog highlights books of particular interest in, or especially relevant to, Asia, excluding the Near West / the Middle East. The award thus highlights such books. Authors can be of any nationality, and can be published anywhere, either conventionally, or through self-publication – an important route for new voices in Asia, especially in the many countries within the region with limited publishing industries. Self-published titles are eligible in eBook format. Traditionally published titles must be available in a physical format, either hardback, or paperback. (Although they were eligible, no self-published books have been included on this year’s shortlist.)
Books are eligible if they were published in either the Year of the Monkey (2016) or the Year of the Rooster, and if they featured in Asian Books Blog during the Year of the Rooster. Anthologies are eligible, as are collections of short stories by a single author. Reissues are not eligible. Books by regular contributors to Asian Books Blog are not eligible.
The blog covers literary fiction, genre fiction of all genres except erotica, and narrative non-fiction. Hence books in these categories are eligible for the award. Books must be either works originally written in English, or translations into English.
Twelve books are shortlisted. The shortlist is intended to include a mix of books by new and established authors, of authors from all over Asia excluding the Near West, and of men and women. Books are intended to represent a variety of publishers, both those based in Asia, and those based in the big centres of international publishing.
The winner is decided by voting, with votes polled from the blog’s readers.
No money is at stake. Instead of a prize, the winning author will be invited to write a guest post highlighting the work of any secular organisation promoting literacy within Asia. No fee will be offered for the guest post. If the winning author does not want to write a guest post, this will not mean he or she forfeits the award.
If the winning title is a translation, either the translator or the author may be invited to write the guest post, depending on circumstances.
So: the shortlist for the Asian Books Blog Book of the Lunar Year in the Year of the Rooster...
The Kingdom of Women: Life, Love and Death in China’s Hidden Mountains by Choo Waihong, published by I.B. Tauris.
The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu, published by Constable & Robinson.
Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia by Michael Vatikiotis, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal published by HarperCollins.
Yuki Means Happiness by Alison Jean Lester published by John Murray.
Snow Over Surabaya by Nigel Barley, published by Monsoon.
River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India’s Future by Victor Mallet, published by Oxford University Press.
The Green Phoenix by Alice Poon, published by Earnshaw Books.
Swimming in Hong Kong by Stephanie Han, published by Willow Springs Books.
Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa, translated from Chinese to English by Nicky Harman, published by Amazon Crossing.
The Infinite Library and Other Stories by Victor Fernando Ocampo, published by Math Paper Press.
The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Khan, published by Mulholland Books.
The winner of the Asian Books Blog Book of the Lunar Year for the Year of the Rooster will be announced on February 16, Chinese New Year’s Day for the upcoming Year of the Dog.
HOW TO VOTE: To vote e-mail the title of your one choice for the winner to firstname.lastname@example.org. Voting closes at 5pm on February 15th.