Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian,” Her Second Novel to Be Translated in English

Han Kang, a Korean writer who was born in 1970, is renowned for her novel titled “The Vegetarian” which won the Man Booker International Prize in 2016. It was translated by a British translator, Deborah Smith, who started teaching herself Korean only in 2010. After reading “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang, Smith says, that she was transfixed by its beauty. She noticed the lack of English-Korean translators, and has decided to translate Han Kang’s novel by herself.

Han Kang is the first Korean to win the Man Booker International Prize, and was almost entirely unknown to English-speakers before Smith translated her novel. Many of the scholars, editors and translators argue that the literature of Korea has been largely overlooked by Western publishers, when Korean culture such as K-pop is being spread through all over the world. However, things are gradually changing; for example, the independent publisher Dalkey Archive Press started its “Library of Korean Literature” series, a translation program financed in part by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/03/books/the-vegetarian-a-surreal-south-korean-novel.html

About Soomin Kim 14 Articles
Soomin is a Composition major from Seoul, Korea and the rest of her family lives in the Philippines. She speaks English and Japanese (but no kanji), and is studying Spanish. She loves learning new languages because she believes that language is the most powerful way to understand and explore the culture. She enjoys traveling with her friends during vacations, which makes her spend all the money she has saved for a semester. In her free time, Soomin likes to collect vintage clothes, watch movies and Korean TV shows, listen to music, and read books.

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