South Korea’s Kyung-soon Shin a first woman novelist to win The Man Asian book prize

 There are so many literary prizes, some broad and some genre specific, but one  has always been the most coveted –  The Man Prize. Each year the winner is always eagerly awaited by readers. The Man Asian Literary Prize is even more special as it allows us to discover writers that have not been previously published in English. As a reader I can’t think of very many more exciting things than discovering a new author. To add “a cherry to this year’s topping” the winner, Kyong-soon Shin is also the first woman writer to win this prize. She comes from a country  literary output of which is not that well known in the Western world. By all accounts and early reviews her book sounds like a must read.

“Chair of Judges, Razia Iqbal said, PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM is an incredibly moving portrait of what it means to be a mother, but also of the tradition and modernity of the family in South Korea. The novel is a sensitive exploration of the inner life of the family with a very dynamic narrative structure. The story is surprising in its complexity yet has a beating heart at the center of it.”
Professor David Parker, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Man Asian Literary Prize, said PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM is a deeply moving, humane and intricately wrought book, at once culturally specific and universal. It is a book that will be loved everywhere.”

Kyung-sook Shin is a best selling and award winning author in her native country.  PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM has already sold 1.93m copies in her native South Korea (country with population of just under 50 million people) but it will be her first venture into foreign markets. The novel will now be published in 32 countries so we all have a chance to discover her talent.

The Man Asian Literary Prize was founded in 2007. It is the most prestigious, annual Asian literary award given to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English, and published in the previous calendar year.  The winning author is awarded USD $30,000 and the translator (if any) USD $5,000.