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Nature writer Liu Ka-shiang wins UDN Grand Literary Award

2019/07/02 22:50:56

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Nature writer Liu Ka-shiang (劉克襄) has won the United Daily News Grand Literary Award for his book "24 Chapters about Wildlife."

Liu, who currently serves as chairman of the Central News Agency (CNA), said Tuesday that he is grateful to the enlightenment provided by Taiwan and Hong Kong, which he described as his homes.

In a Facebook post, Liu said that after he had completed his agricultural chores for the day -- he is a keen farmer -- he received notice from the award's organizer that he had won the grand literature award.

Liu said when he was informed that he had won the prize, he could not figure out what had happened.

"After I made sure it was not a joke, I felt excited," Liu said. "After working as a writer for years, what I expected is just a surprise and an honor like the award."

The book is about Liu's thorough observations about nature and discusses a wide range of topics, such as conservation of endangered species, birds taking up residence in urban areas, animal behaviors and human-caused risks to animals.

Liu said he owed gratitude to the jury's generosity for awarding the prize to him and was also grateful to Taiwan and Hong Kong, which inspired him in his writing career.

It was the sixth year of the UDN Grand Literary Award, and every year, there is only one winner, who receives prize money of NT$1.01 million (US$32,580), the highest amount for literary awards in Taiwan.

This year, the jury consisted of poet Xiang Yang (向陽), Taiwan literature professor Fan Ming-ju (范銘如), poet Chen Yu-hung (陳育虹), publisher Fu Yueh-an (傅月庵), writer and political commentator Yang Chao (楊照), poet Yang Tse (楊澤) and writer Luo Yijun (駱以軍).

Each of the six recommended a writer and after careful review, Liu was announced the winner.

Yang said that after working hard as a writer for more than four decades, Liu has written important works at every stage of his writing career and has great potential for enriching the literary arena.

He added that Liu's works are full of sincerity.

Speaking with CNA, Liu said that getting closer to nature is the value of his life and he began to write about it in the 1980s.

Liu, born in 1957 in Taichung, served as an editor at the Taiwan Daily News and the China Times for many years before becoming chairman of CNA in 2017.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)