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Hang Kang takes Man Booker Prize to South Korea for “The Vegetarian”

The first South Korean author to win the prestigious prize will share the award money of $72,000 with the translator of the book

South Korean author Han Kang won the distinguished Man Booker Prize for her “The Vegetarian,” a novel based on a woman ‘who wants to become a plant and to escape from the brutality of being human.’ She is the first one to win Man Booker Prize from South Korea.

The author will share an award money of £50,000 ($72,000, 63,500 euros) with the translator of the book who learned Korean language in just three years.

Hang Kang won the prestigious award which is given to the non-English books that are translated and published in United Kingdom, competing with the well-known authors like Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Jury chairman Boyd Tonkin dubbed the novel a “concise, unsettling and beautifully composed story” of a woman’s rejection of family traditions and societal norms told in a style “both lyrical and lacerating.”

Judges said that the novel was selected from 155 titles.

Han Kang, 45, said after winning the award that she was honored and she tried to question the difficult questions of the life through the extreme narrative in the book.

Hang Kang, who is a successful writer in South Korea also expressed her happiness for getting such an international recognition.

The jury also came forward appreciating the translator of the book Deborah Smith for “ perfectly judged translation’ with losing its “uncanny blend of beauty and horror at every turn.”

Tonkin also said that the compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers.

Judges also said that the short list for the prize this time was a diverse with entries from Australia , China and Turkey. “A Strangeness in My Mind” was the book of Orhan Pamuk to find its place in the short list.

Earlier , the British Newspaper The Guardian has published a review of the book naming it as a ‘shock to the system.’

“Across the three parts, we are pressed up against a society’s most inflexible structures — expectations of behaviour, the workings of institutions — and we watch them fail one by one,” the review said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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