Man Booker International Prize goes to Han Kang's 'The Vegetarian'
Updated 17th May 2016
The Man Booker International shortlisted titles. This is the first year the prize was awarded on the basis of a single book instead of an author's body of work.
Man Booker International Prize goes to Han Kang's 'The Vegetarian'
South Korean author Han Kang won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize on Monday for "The Vegetarian," a novel about a "completely unremarkable" woman, to use the book's description, who subverts societal norms including, in a nod to the title, giving up eating meat.
Originally written and published in Korean, it was translated by a 28-year-old Briton who, by her own admission, was "monolingual until the age of 21," and who only chose to pursue Korean due to a lack of English-Korean translators.
The translation of the source work is a crucial factor in choosing the Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates non-English language books translated and published in the United Kingdom.
The book is a "concise, unsettling and beautifully composed story" judging panel chairman Boyd Tonkin said, and said the tale of a woman's rejection of family and society's traditions is told in a style "both lyrical and lacerating."
According to the Man Booker website, the work can be "written in any language as long as it was widely available in English." This is the first year the prize was awarded on the basis of a single book instead of an author's body of work.
1/15Strahov Abbey library, Prague, Czech Republic
Strahov Abbey library, Prague, Czech Republic

The Library: A World History is the most complete account of library buildings to date. Here James Campbell and Will Pryce take us on a virtual journey through some of their favorites.

Interviews by Milena Veselinovic Credit:
Will Pryce
Told in three voices from three perspectives, the novel was selected from 155 titles.
Woman returns overdue library book she borrowed in 1948
The judging panel recognized translator Deborah Smith for her "perfectly judged translation," saying it mirrored the original prose's "uncanny blend of beauty and horror at every turn."
"This compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers," Tonkin said.
The short list for this year's prize was notable for its diversity, with novels from the idyllic mountains of Austria to the hellish conditions of 1950's Chinese labor camps, including Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk's latest work, "A Strangeness in My Mind."
Pamuk, and the Angolan author Jose Eduardo Agualusa, have both previously won the Independent Foreign Fiction prize, the predecessor of the Man Booker International.
Authors as notable as Philip Roth and Chinua Achebe have previously won the award. Last year's Man Booker International Prize was won by Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai.
'Game of Thrones' author releases new chapter
From 2015 onward, the $72,000 (£50,000) prize has been awarded annually, and is divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry. The other short-listed entries each receive $1,437 (£1,000).
The prize is a sister prize of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which is awarded to English-language fiction annually. First awarded in 1969, last year's prize was awarded to Jamaican novelist Marlon James for "A Brief History of Seven Killings," his fictional retelling of the 1976 attempted murder of Bob Marley.
"The Vegetarian" won out over six shortlisted books:
Harvill Secker
Europa Editions UK
Portobello Books
Faber & Faber
Pan Macmillan/Picador
Vintage, Chatto & Windus
By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. More information about cookies.
I agree