Novelist Shin Kyung-sook's "Please Look After Mom" has picked up the Man Asian Literary Prize, making her the first Korean to seize the top regional accolade.
Also called the "Asian Booker Prize," the award was founded to support Asian writers by Man Group which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious literary award in Britain.
Shin also ranks as the first woman to collect the award since it was founded in 2007. Japan's Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" was included on a preliminary list of finalists announced on Oct. 29, 2011, and his compatriot Banana Yoshimoto's "The Lake" made the final cut. But in the end, the award went to the 49-year-old Korean author.
Even though "Please Look After Mom" has been translated and published in 32 countries and gained popularity worldwide, it is the first time the book has picked up an award outside Korea.
Shin will receive US$30,000, and Kim Chi-young, who translated the novel in English, will pocket $5,000. The judges described the book as a "dynamic" and "moving" account of the complex web of relationships of a Korean family, which also explores "what it means to be a mother."