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S. Korean novelist Han Kang shortlisted for 2016 Man Booker Int'l Prize

All Headlines 09:28 April 14, 2016

By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean fiction writer Han Kang has been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

Han's "The Vegetarian," translated by Deborah Smith, is among the six books contending for the 2016 prize, the organizer announced on its website Thursday.

"The story of a Korean woman who awakens from uneasy dreams to find herself transformed into an enigma without a key. Evocative and suggestive, 'The Vegetarian' startles for the depth of its strangeness," the organizer said of the book.

Critically acclaimed and a New York Times best-seller, the novel depicts a modern-day Korean life where disturbing recurring nightmares force the heroine Yeong-hye to drop her eating habits and become a vegetarian. In a country where meat, most of the time, is the center of meals and conformity overrides individuality, her family and husband, shocked and in disbelief, regard it as an act of subversion. They try to change her mind in a forceful way, and Yeong-hye, in turn, turns more defiant and detached.

The final winner will be announced on May 16. The top prize of £50,000 (US$70,995) will be equally divided and given to the author and the translator.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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