Hanan Prize

Patrick D. Hanan Book Prize

The Hanan Prize for Translation (China and Inner Asia) was established in 2015 and is given biennially to an outstanding English translation of a significant work in any genre originally written in Chinese or an Inner Asian Language, from any time period. 


$1,000 award for the translator.

Guidelines for Submission

  • Only books bearing a copyright date of 2021 or 2022 will be eligible for the 2024 awards.
  • Publishers must complete the book nomination form.
  • Each press may nominate a maximum of six books for the Hanan Prize.
  • Only publishers may nominate books.
  • Upon receipt of a completed nomination form, publishers will be provided with addresses for prize committee members. A copy of each entry, clearly labeled “Patrick D. Hanan Book Prize,” must be sent to each member of the appropriate committee.

Books published by the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. are ineligible for consideration for prizes administered by the Association for Asian Studies. Employees of the Association are excluded from consideration for AAS book prizes, subventions, and grants. Publishers should check with authors to certify that they are not employed by the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 


The nomination deadline has passed. Award recipients will be announced in early 2024.

Hanan Prize Committee

Eleanor Goodman (Chair)

Nick Admussen
Cornell University

Eileen Chow
Duke University

2022 Awards

Winner and Citation

Wai-yee Li, editor & translator, Plum Shadows and Plank Bridge: Two Memoirs about Courtesans (Columbia University Press, 2020)

Li’s language is highly readable throughout, across a range of modes and styles. The footnotes are consistently helpful and provide rich information on literati communities of the time, including their lifestyles, political activism, social habits, and much more. While these are texts by written men, they do make an attempt to capture the female experience, and Li is sensitive to seemingly every nuance of the originals, demonstrating her mastery over issues of genre and gender. This translation represents the best of what an academic translation can do.

Honorable Mention

Wilt L. Idema, editor & translator, Insects in Chinese Literature: A Study and Anthology (Cambria Press, 2019)

Past Awards

Patrick D. Hanan Book Prize

2016 Xiaofei Tian, The World of a Tiny Insect: A Memoir of the Taiping Rebellion and Its Aftermath by Zhang Daye

2018 Stephen Durrant, Wai-yee Li and David Schaberg, Zuo Tradition/Zuo Zhuan: Commentary on the “Spring and Autumn Annals”

2020 Eleanor Goodman, Roots of Wisdom by Zang Di