The Man Booker International Prize 2016

Post date: 
Wednesday, 15 June 2016

This year’s The Man Booker International Prize was announced last month and we’d like congratulate Han Kang for her winning title, The Vegetarian.

We are delighted to have funding from The Booker Prize Foundation this year, for the first time, to produce the winning title in Talking Book, braille and giant print formats. Production will start soon and we hope to have The Vegetarian available from our RNIB Library later this year.

We would like to thank The Booker Prize Foundation for their fantastic commitment to blind and partially sighted people's right to read.

The winning title

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, commits a shocking act of subversion. As her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, Yeong-hye spirals further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree. Fraught, disturbing, and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another. 

The author

Han Kang was born in Gwangju, South Korea, and moved to Seoul at the age of ten. She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University. Her writing has won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today's Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, was published by Portobello Books in 2015. Human Acts was published by Portobello books in 2016. She currently teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.