The Vegetarian by Han Kang has won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. The prize carries a £25,000 award for both the author and the translator.
Kang is the author of several novels, but this is her first to be translated into English. The Vegetarian is a three-part novel about a dutiful Korean wife who rebels by becoming vegetarian. “This subversive act fractures her familial life and, as Yeong-hye’s rebellion manifests in increasingly bizarre and frightening forms, turns seemingly ordinary relationships into those driven by violence, shame and desire,” explains the press release.
Deborah Smith translated the novel from Korean. Her first foreign language, the 28 year-old only began learning Korean seven years ago.