Chinese Writer Su Tong Wins Asia’s Top Literary Prize

Writer Su Tong won the Man Asian Literary Prize in Hong Kong for his book about a disgraced Communist official. Su is most famous for writing Wives and Concubines, which was later turned in Zhang Yimou’s Raise the Red Lantern. From Reuters:

Su’s novel, “The Boat to Redemption” is about a womanizing Party official who castrates himself after being banished to a river barge with his young son just after the tumultuous Cultural Revolution. It won the Man Asian Literary prize, the regional equivalent of London’s Man Booker prize.

“I feel this prize is independently judged,” Su told Reuters.

“So it’s important to me because I’m a writer who is not famous for winning prizes. I’m more famous for not winning prizes,” added the writer whose dark, provocative works are popular but have sometimes put him at odds with the authorities.

The panel of three judges, including Indian writer Pankaj Mishra and Irish writer Colm Toibin, described Su’s novel as a picaresque, political fable as well as “a parable about the journeys we take in our lives, the distance between the boat of our desires and the dry land of our achievement.”

November 17, 2009 1:47 PM
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