January 12, 2012 09:09
Shin Kyung-sook's "Please Look After Mom" has been shortlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize, setting a new first for a Korean novel. According to the prize's organizing committee, the book was included among seven finalists along with works by authors from India, Japan, China and Pakistan.
The Man Asian Literary Prize was founded in 2007 to support Asian writers by the Man Group, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious literary award in Britain.
Reviewing Shin's novel, the judges described it as a "moving and structurally compelling novel" that explores a family's history through the story of a mother who vanishes one day at a subway station.
"A disquieting portrait of what can happen when ancient rituals and tradition are ignored in favor of modernity," they said.
Some 90 entries were whittled down to seven finalists, also including "The Lake" by Banana Yoshimoto (Japan), "Dream of Ding Village" by Yan Lianke (China), "The Wondering Falcon" by Jamil Amhad (Pakistan), "Rebirth" by Jahnavi Barua (India), "The Sly Company of People Who Care" by Rahul Bhattacharya (India) and "River of Smoke" by Amitav Ghosh (India).
The judging panel comprised the BBC's arts correspondent Razia Iqbal, Korean-American novelist Lee Chang-rae and Indian writer Vikas Swarup, who wrote the original novel of the movie "Slumdog Millionaire." The winner will be announced on March 15. The prize money is US$30,000.
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