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Korean writer on long list for Man Booker Int’l Prize

Novelist Hwang Sok-yong, one of the most acclaimed writers in South Korea today, has been long-listed for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize for “At Dusk.”

On Wednesday, the Man Booker International Prize released the list of contenders for 2019. This year, a panel of five judges considered 108 novels and selected 12. 

Novelist Hwang Sok-yong (Yonhap)
Novelist Hwang Sok-yong (Yonhap)

Originally published in Korean in 2015, “At Dusk” centers on a successful Korean architect looking back on his life and a young theater actor who works part-time jobs to make a living.

The novel, translated by Sora Kim-Russell, will hit the shelves in July.

“This was a year when writers plundered the archive, personal and political,” Bettany Hughes, chair of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize judging panel, said.

“That drive is represented in our longlist, but so too are surreal Chinese train journeys, absurdist approaches to war and suicide, and the traumas of spirit and flesh. We’re thrilled to share 13 books which enrich our idea of what fiction can do.”

The judges called Hwang’s novel “a delicately drawn, vividly peopled and deftly plotted exploration of profound shifts in Korean society.”

The long list also includes “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by last year’s winner, Olga Tokarczuk from Poland.

The prestigious book prize, which recognizes the finest works of translated fiction, is well-known to the Korean public because Korean writer Han Kang won it in 2016 for “The Vegetarian.”

The short list of six books will be announced April 9 in London, and the winner will be announced May 21 at a dinner at the Roundhouse in London.
By Im Eun-byel (
Korea Herald Youtube