An examination of China's relationship with foreign powers won this year's prestigious and international Jan Michalski Prize, which went to The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China by Dr. Julia Lovell.
The book's purpose is to lay the foundation for an understanding of modern China and, especially, the present-day importance of the Opium Wars in terms of a national sense of identity and China's place in the world.
An award of 50,000 swiss francs goes to Dr. Lovell; also in contention were two other non-fiction works in the form of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder and Kaiser von Amerika (lit. King of America: The Great Escape from Galicia) by Martin Pollack.
Previous years' winners were novels; György Dragomán won in 2011 with The White King, and 2010 saw Aleksander Hemon take the prize for The Lazarus Project.