Chinese author Jiang Rong has won the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize with his best-selling novel Wolf Totem.
Jiang spent 11 years living with nomadic communities in the Mongolian grasslands and the book draws on his experiences there.
The award honours literature from the region which has not yet been published in English.
"I spent... six years writing Wolf Totem, my only hope was to produce an appealing story," said Jiang, 61.
The author was unable to collect his $10,000 (£4780) at the award ceremony in Hong Kong owing to illness.
Adrienne Clarkson, former governor general of Canada who was one of the three judges, described Wolf Totem as a "panoramic novel".
"The slowly developing narrative is rendered in vivid detail and has a powerful cumulative effect," she added in a statement.
The English version of the book is due to be published in March next year.
The four other writers shortlisted for the prize were Jose Dalisay Jr, Reeti Gadekar, Nu Nu Yi Inwa and Xu Xi.