The Kiriyama Prize
is an international literary award
given to books which will encourage greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia. The prize was established in 1996. Past winners include Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin, Luis Alberto Urrea, Piers Vitebsky
, Nadeem Aslam, Suketu Mehta
, Shan Sa, Inga Clendinnen
, Pascal Khoo Thwe, Rohinton Mistry
, Patricia Grace, Peter Hessler
, Michael David Kwan, Michael Ondaatje
, Cheng Ch'ing-wen, Andrew X. Pham
, Ruth Ozeki, Patrick Smith, and Alan Brown.
The prize is worth $30,000, split evenly between a non-fiction and a fiction winner. The prize is given by Pacific Rim Voices, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California. For its first three years, the prize was given only to one book, either fiction or non-fiction.
To be eligible, a book must significantly concern some aspect of life or culture in one of the four Pacific Rim subregions: the North Pacific; Southeast Asia and the South Pacific; the Americas; and the Indian subcontinent. Books may be written in or translated into English from any other language. Books are submitted by publishers by late October each year, and are judged by separate panels of five judges, one for fiction and one for non-fiction. The decisions are made between November and February of each year. Finalists are announced at the end of February, and the prize itself is given at the end of March in each year.
Judges for the Prize have included many noted authors including Alan Cheuse, James D. Houston, Sally Ito, Gish Jen, Chalmers Johnson, Nicholas Jose, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ruthanne Lum McCunn, Lisa See, Linda Spalding, Robert Sullivan, Gail Tsukiyama, Kathleen Tyau, and Jade Snow Wong.
The 2007 prize for Fiction was awarded to Haruki Murakami for his collection of short fiction Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. According to the Kiryama Prize official website, Murakami "declined to accept the award for reasons of personal principle".
- 2008 Lloyd Jones- Mister Pip (fiction).
- 2007 Haruki Murakami- Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (fiction); Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin- Three Cups of Tea (nonfiction)
- 2006 Luis Alberto Urrea- The Hummingbird’s Daughter (fiction); Piers Vitebsky- The Reindeer People (nonfiction)
- 2005 Aslam, Nadeem - Maps for Lost Lovers (fiction); Suketu Mehta- Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found (nonfiction)
- 2004 Shan, Sa - The Girl Who Played Go (fiction); Inga Clendinnen- Dancing with Strangers (nonfiction)
- 2002 Mistry, Rohinton - Family Matters (fiction); Pascal Khoo Thwee- From the Land of Green Ghosts (nonfiction)
- 2001 Patricia Grace- Dogside Story (fiction); Peter Hessler- River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (nonfiction)
- 2000 Michael Ondaatje- Anil’s Ghost (fiction); Michael David Kwan- Things That Must Not Be Forgotten: A Childhood in Wartime China (nonfiction)
- 1999 Cheng Ch’ing-wen- Three-Legged Horse (fiction); Andrew X. Pham- Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Journey through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam (nonfiction)
- 1998 Ruth L. Ozeki- My Year of Meats (Only one Kiriyama Prize, for fiction OR nonfiction, was awarded in the first three years of the award, 1998, 1997, and 1996)
- 1997 Patrick Smith- Japan: A Reinterpretation (nonfiction)
- 1996 Alan Brown- Audrey Hepburn's Neck (fiction)