Annal: 2008 Kiriyama Prize for Fiction

Results of the Kiriyama Prize in the year 2008.

Book:Mister Pip

Mister Pip: A Novel

Lloyd Jones

In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our lives.

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.

So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, “A person…[more]

Book:The Complete Stories (Malouf)

The Complete Stories

David Malouf

From the internationally acclaimed Australian writer: a single volume gathering a brilliant new collection of his short fiction, Every Move You Make, and all of his previously published stories.

In the heretofore unpublished Every Move You Make: bookish boys and taciturn men, strong women and wayward sons, fathers and daughters, lovers and husbands, a composer and his muse, a builder-architect and his legacy—here are their stories, whole lives brought dramatically into focus and powerfully rooted in the vividly rendered landscape of the vast Australian continent, from the mysterious, glittering Valley of Lagoons in Far North Queensland to bohemian Sydney to Ayres Rock in the Great Victoria Desert. These tender, subtle, and intimate stories give us men and women looking for something they seem to have missed, or missed out on, puzzling over not only their own lives but also the place they have come to occupy in the lives of others.

Heartbreakingly beautiful, richly satisfying, The Complete Stories also includes David Malouf’s short fiction from Dream Stuff, Antipodes, and Child’s Play. It is a major literary event.

Book:I Love Dollars and Other Stories of China

I Love Dollars: and Other Stories of China

Zhu Wen, Julia Lovell

In five richly imaginative novellas and a short story, Zhu Wen depicts the violence, chaos, and dark comedy of China in the post-Mao era. A frank reflection of the seamier side of his nation’s increasingly capitalist society, Zhu Wen’s fiction offers an audaciously plainspoken account of the often hedonistic individualism that is feverishly taking root.

Set against the mundane landscapes of contemporary China—a worn Yangtze River vessel, cheap diners, a failing factory, a for-profit hospital operating by dated socialist norms—Zhu Wen’s stories zoom in on the often tragicomic minutiae of everyday life in this fast-changing country. With subjects ranging from provincial mafiosi to nightmarish families and oppressed factory workers, his claustrophobic narratives depict a spiritually bankrupt society, periodically rocked by spasms of uncontrolled violence. …[more]

Book:The Last Chinese Chef

The Last Chinese Chef

Nicole Mones

The Last Chinese Chef is the transporting story of how the sensual, romantic elements of haute Chinese cuisine become the perfect ingredients to lift the troubled soul of a grieving American woman. For food writer Maggie McElroy, its been a year of trying to get her equilibrium back in the wake of her husbands premature death. Now comes a shock: a paternity claim has been filed against her husbands estate. Could he, while working in his firms Beijing office, have fathered a child? In the end, Maggie does unravel the truth about her husband. But most profoundly, The Last Chinese Chef is the exhilarating story of a woman coming home to herself in the most unexpected of places.

Book:Mosquito (Tearne)

Mosquito

Roma Tearne

This is a lyrical and profoundly moving story of love, loss and civil war, set in Sri Lanka, London and Venice.

When author, Theo Samarajeeva returns to his native Sri Lanka after his wife’s death, he hopes to escape his gnawing loss amidst the lush landscape of his increasingly war-torn country. But as he sinks into life in his beautiful, tortured land, he also finds himself slipping into friendship with an artistic young girl, Nulani, whose family is caught up in the growing turmoil—a friendship that gradually blossoms into love. Under the threat of civil war, their affair offers a glimmer of hope to a country on the brink of destruction!

But all too soon, the violence which has cast an ominous shadow over their love story explodes, tearing them apart. Betrayed, imprisoned and tortured, Theo is gradually stripped of everything he once held dear—his writing, his humanity and, eventually,…[more]

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