South Korean author, Han Kang, has won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her novel ‘The Vegetarian’. It tells a story of a wife who decides to become a vegetarian. The decision provokes cruelty from her husband, and from her father, and obsession from her sister’s husband, as the woman, Yeong-hye, dreams obsessively about becoming a tree.
Han is the first South Korean to win the prize. The writer and her British translator will share the 72,000 Dollar prize money. The book was translated by Deborah Smith.
At the prize ceremony, held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last night, Han said, she felt extremely honoured with the prize and this book has bought many things to her.
The novel was picked unanimously by the panel of five judges, beating six other novels including “The Story of the Lost Child” by Italian sensation Elena Ferrante and “A Strangeness in My Mind” by Turkey’s Orhan Pamuk. Judging panel chairman Boyd Tonkin said Han Kang’s work was unforgettably powerful and original.
Survey commissioned by the Man Booker International prize last week found that translated literary fiction is selling better on average in the UK than literary fiction originally written in English.