A novel based on a Yaqui faith-healer and a non-fiction book about nomads in Siberia were the winners of the 10th annual Kiriyama Prize, given to "literature that contributes to greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia."
Luis Alberto Urrea's The Hummingbird's Daughter won the fiction prize, while the non-fiction award went to Piers Vitebsky's The Reindeer People: Living With Animals and Spirits in Siberia.
Each writer will receive US $15,000.
"The phrase 'Pacific Rim' is associated in many people's minds simply with the Asia Pacific region, but the Pacific Ocean reaches many other shores," award administrator Dr Peter J Coughlan said yesterday in a statement.
"These two books bring us a deeper sense of our common humanity, and that is above all what we hope for in books recognised by the Kiriyama Prize."
The Kiriyama is sponsored by Pacific Rim Voices, a non-profit organisation based in San Francisco.