The Kiriyama Prize was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia that encourage greater mutual understanding of and empathy among the peoples and nations of this vast and culturally diverse region. Over the following years, and until it closed in 2008, the Prize recognized and highlighted a multitude of books about the region. In the archive presented here you will be able to peruse winners, finalists and notable books that were chosen by panels of judges in the course of the 12 years of Prize’s existence. Our gratitude goes to all who participated in the Prize and who appreciated the books and authors it celebrated.

We invite you to go the two sections of our PaperTigers: Books + Water site. The PaperTigers website and blog section of the site, with its focus on children’s literature in English from around the world, can be reached by going to

The WaterBridge Outreach section of the site, with our book projects and clean water and sanitation projects, can be reached by going to

2008 Winners

Posted April 1, 2008—We are pleased to present the winners of this year’s Kiriyama Prize:


Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip is set on the South Pacific island of Bougainville, during the island’s bloody secessionist clash with Papua New Guinea in the 1990’s. Beautifully written and masterfully told, Mister Pip charts the ground where life and literature meet and flourish, and where they must ultimately divide.


Julia Whitty’s The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific will transport you to the other-worldly realm under the surface of the ocean and will introduce you to some of the tenacious people who live along its delicate shores. The Fragile Edge is a paean to the seas that makes us yearn to keep them safe, not only for the wildlife and people who live near or in it, but for us all.

Read more about this year’s winners by clicking on the titles above or read our April 1 press release.

2008 Finalists

We hope you’ll pick up both of this year’s winning books, but please don’t stop your Pacific Rim journey there. All of this year’s finalists are engaging and insightful reads.

Fiction Finalists

The Complete Stories
by David Malouf
The Last Chinese Chef
by Nicole Mones
by Roma Tearne
I Love Dollars
by Zhu Wen, translated by Julia Lovell

NonFiction Finalists

The Father of All Things Things
by Tom Bissell
East Wind Melts the Ice
by Liza Dalby
India After Gandhi
by Ramachandra Guha
The Talented Women of the Zhang Family
by Susan Mann

Read our February 26, 2008 press release announcing the finalists.

WaterBridge Review

Read full reviews of all the Kiriyama Prize finalists together with a conversation with the chairs of the judging panels on Pacific Rim Voices’ WaterBridge Review.

Press inquiries about this year’s finalists can be directed to the Prize manager: tel (415) 777-1628 or email jeannine(at)