Indian journalist Manu Joseph's satirical debut novel "Serious Men" and Chinese author Bi Feiyu's "Three Sisters" tackle class, caste, gender and social conflicts, and topped the shortlist of five works prize organizers released Tuesday.
Also included are two novels from Japan - Nobel Literary Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe's "The Changeling" and Yoko Ogawa's "Hotel Iris" - that take intensely personal looks at friendship, loss, obsession and intimacy. Meanwhile, "The Thing About Thugs" by Indian poet and novelist Tabish Khair examines attitudes about race and cultural differences.
Judges will announce the winner of the prize, which comes with a $30,000 cash award, on March 17.
Founded in 2007, the Man Asian Literary Prize is awarded annually to an Asian novel. Its title sponsor, investment company Man Group, also sponsors the annual Booker Prize.