Seven novels were shortlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize, announced the chair judge on Tuesday.
Three judges, namely Razia Iqbal, Chang-rae Lee and Vikas Swarupz, voted unanimously for these books, including "Dream of Ding Village" by a Chinese novelist.
The other books are "The Wandering Falcon" from Pakistan, "Rebirth," "The Sly Company of People Who Care" and "River of Smoke" from India, "The Lake" from Japan and "Please Look After Mom" from South Korea.
A total of 90 books were submitted for the contest, including "1Q84" by famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. The book became a sensation in Asia, especially China, but surprisingly failed to enter the shortlist.
The winner of the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize will be announced on March 15, 2012 in Hong Kong.
The prize, initiated in 2007, is an annual literary award given to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English, and published in the previous year.
Talking about the prize, Chair Director David Parker told Xinhua that it "means a lot to different people."
"To writers, it was a great encouragement... and in some places, they become stars (after winning or entering the list)," the professor said, adding that he also believes that the prize has helped spread novels across national borders.
Taking the 2010 winner, "Three Sisters" by Chinese writer Bi Feiyu for example, he noted that the book was later published in India. "It shows that the Indian public is beginning to take interest in writing by Chinese," he said.
On "Dream of Ding Village," written by Yan Lianke, which is about HIV infection in a central Chinese province through blood-selling, Judge Iqbal told Xinhua, "I went outside the boundary of the novel."
"Once I finished the novel, I wanted to find out more... It was a very, very powerful piece," she said.
Four writers have won the prize since its initiation, among whom three were from China. The other two were Jiang Rong with "Wolf Totem" in 2007 and Su Tong with "The Boat to Redemption" in 2009.