English PEN statement on ‘Three Sisters’ winning the Man Asian Literary Prize

The Writers in Translation Committee at English PEN is delighted to hear that Bi Feiyu has been awarded the Man Asian Literary Prize for his masterful novel ‘Three Sisters’.

The novel was recipient of an English PEN Writers in Translation grant in 2010, recognising the work of the author, translators Howard Goldblatt and Sylcia Li-chun Lin, and publisher Telegram Books.

Roz Schwartz, Chair of English PEN’s Writers in Translation Committee, said:

“This book tells a wonderful story and we hope this prize will introduce more British readers to Bi Feiyu’s work. By reading more work in translation, we can gain real understanding and insights into other cultures. This is why freedom of expression is so universally important.”

Bi Feiyu was due to visit the UK last year for events to promote the book, but he was stuck in visa bureaucracy. Last Thursday in a debate in the House of Lords, Baroness Joan Bakewell said that the UK visa system was “doing our country a disservice” and called for a review of the entire system (link).

Robert Sharp, English PEN’s Campaigns Manager, said:

“British readers could have met Bi Feiyu in July last year, at special English PEN event to promote ‘Three Sisters’. Unfortunately, his visa application was lost in red tape and he had to cancel the visit. That we have been unable to host this critically acclaimed and popular author is yet another example of how Britain is slipping into a cultural and economic silo. We congratulate Bi Feiyu on his wonderful book, and only wish we could have done so in person.”



  • English PEN is the founding centre of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers. Established in 1921, PEN will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2011.
  • English PEN’s international campaigns are led by its Writers in Prison Committee, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2010. There are currently over 900 people on the Writers in Prison Committee case list of writers under threat worldwide. www.englishpen.org
  • For more information on our Writers in Translation programme, visit /writersintranslation
  • For more information please contact Robert Sharp, Campaigns Manager

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/news/_1685

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