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Man Asian Literary Prize winner is Chinese author Bi Feiyu

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(Read caption) 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize winner Bi Feiyu grew up in the Chinese countryside during the Cultural Revolution. He once told an interviewer that as a child he had no toys – only nature.

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Chinese writer Bi Feiyu won the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel "Three Sisters," marking the third time in the prize's four-year history that it has been awarded to a Chinese writer.

In fact, Bi told The Wall Street Journal, he almost didn't bother to attend Wednesday's Hong Kong ceremony because, he said, all his "friends and the media in China were all saying, ‘Impossible, there’s no way a Chinese writer can get a third one.' " (Chinese author Jiang Rong won the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel “Wolf Totem” and Su Tong was the 2009 winner for “The Boat to Redemption.”)

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The 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize shortlist

Instead, Bi was announced the winner and recipient of the $30,000 cash prize, with the jurors praising his novel as "a moving exploration of Chinese family and village life during the Cultural Revolution that moves seamlessly between the epic and the intimate."

"Three Sisters" tells the stories of three daughters of a lecherous Communist Party secretary as a vehicle for exploring the difficult lives of women in Communist China in the 1970s and 80s.

Bi is a well-known screenwriter in China.

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.