Finalists for 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award

The Asia Society has announced the finalists for its Bernard Schwartz Book Award. The only literary author shortlisted is Yu Hua 余华:

  • Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley (PublicAffairs)
  • China in Ten Words by Yu Hua (Pantheon Books)
  • Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
  • Water: Asia’s New Battleground by Brahma Chellaney (Georgetown University Press)
  • Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia by Thant Myint-U (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

For more information, including the list of judges, click here.

Chris Livaccari on Overcoming Misconceptions about China posted an interview with Chris Livaccari of the Asia Society (New York) with a guided reading list of how to overcome misconceptions about China. Here’s how he begins his responses:

I recently asked some school kids, “If you had the opportunity to go to China today, what do you think you would see?” One of the students said there would be a lot of lanterns everywhere, a lot of red, and a lot of dragons. I thought, “Wow. If this kid stepped into Shanghai in 2012, he would really be bowled over.”

The books he mentions are Robert Ramsey’s The Languages of China, Joanna Waley-Cohen’s The Sextants of Beijing, Zhuangzi 莊子 as translated by Victor Mair (called Wandering on the Way), the stories of Lu Xun 魯迅 (the article links to William Lyell’s translations), and The Story of the Stone 石頭記 by Cao Xueqin 曹雪芹 and translated by David Hawkes and John Minford. Not surprisingly, his list contains no poetry. Perhaps one day somebody will compile a list like this and Xi Chuan will be on it.