The Asian authors longlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction

The Asian authors longlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction

03 March 2020

Priyanka Mogul, Literature Programme Manager

It’s the 25th year of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and we’re thrilled to see some familiar faces on the longlist.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the most respected literary awards in the world, celebrating the creativity and diversity of fiction written by women around the world. Awarded annually, the Award was founded as a riposte to the all-male Booker Prize shortlist of 1991. At the time, despite the ratio of books by men to books by women being 60/40 in women’s favour, the leading literary Prizes often seemed to overlook important fiction by female authors. Hence the Women’s Prize for Fiction was born in 1996 – and has since underpinned a renaissance in literary fiction written by women. 

The 2020 longlist consists of 16 books, which will be whittled down to a shortlist of six on Wednesday 22 April by judges Martha Lane Fox, Scarlett Curtis, Melanie Eusebe, Viv Groskop and Paula Hawkins. A winner will be crowned on Wednesday 3 June.

Asia House is delighted to see two brilliant Asian authors on the longlist – both of whom have previously appeared at our events. Find out more about their books below and check out the full longlist here

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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Deepa Anappara

Chatto & Windus

**2020’s most ‘heartrending’ debut and a BBC Radio 2 book club pick**

**One of the Observer’s 10 best debut novelists of 2020**

‘Anappara creates an endearing and highly engaging narrator to navigate us through the dark underbelly of modern India’ – Observer

‘A drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate’ – Chigozie Obioma, Booker Prize shortlisted author of An Orchestra of Minorities

‘Extraordinarily good, deeply moving and thought provoking with brilliant characterisation. A very important book’ – Harriet Tyce, bestselling author of Blood Orange

We children are not just stories. We live. Come and see.

Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows, thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).

When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the sprawling Indian city; the bazaar at night, and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

Find out more and buy the book here



How We Disappeared
Jing-Jing Lee

OneWorld Publications

‘A sweeping epic and… an essential read… It’s incredibly beautifully written.’ – Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti

‘A heartbreaking but hopeful story about memory, trauma and ultimate love.’ – New York Times

‘A powerful tale of wartime Singapore and the shame of silence…haunting… Read it and weep, read it and marvel, but above all, read it.’ – South China Morning Post

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked. Only three survivors remain, one of them a tiny child.

In a neighbouring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel. In the year 2000, her mind is still haunted by her experiences there, but she has long been silent about her memories of that time. It takes twelve-year-old Kevin, and the mumbled confession he overhears from his ailing grandmother, to set in motion a journey into the unknown to discover the truth.

Weaving together two timelines and two life-changing secrets, How We Disappeared is an evocative, profoundly moving and utterly dazzling novel heralding the arrival of a new literary star.

Find out more and buy the book here




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