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Kyung-Sook Shin, Please look after mother (Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize 2011)

November 10, 2011
location of South Korea

Locator Map of South Korea (Courtesy: Seb az86556, using CC-BY-3.0, via Wikipedia)

Two of the Man Asian Literary Prize team have cheated! They read and reviewed Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin before our team was formed, and are showing me up big-time. I bear no grudge though and happily point you to their reviews. We are, as they say, on our way!

Shin Kyung-sook was born in South Korea in 1963. She has written several novels though few have been translated into English – and has won major literary awards in her country.

It’s exciting, in fact, that our first reviews represent a country – South Korea – that many of us (speaking for myself at least) are not well read in. This diversity – with books from such places as Iran, South Korea, and Bangladesh as well as from the bigger countries like China, India and Japan – has to be one of the best things about the Man Asian Literary Prize.

PS Apologies for the unusual rapid fire of posts this week. I promise I won’t keep filling up your inboxes/readers/feeds like this – I couldn’t keep it up anyhow!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Matthew Todd permalink
    November 10, 2011 6:04 pm

    In my defence, it was accidental cheating…

  2. November 10, 2011 11:09 pm

    Not at all familiar with South Korean lit and enjoyed Matt’s review. Sounds like one I would like to read. How wonderful to sell a million copies! I am wondering what sort of writing style was involved.

    • November 10, 2011 11:14 pm

      Me neither, as you know, Catherine. I guess we’ll have to find time to read it to find out! Now, where’s some time!!?

  3. November 11, 2011 3:16 am

    The book sounds wonderful. I don’t think I have ever read a book by a Korean author. I used to have a pen pal who lived in South Korea though when I was a kid, does that count?

    • November 11, 2011 7:59 am

      I reckon it does, and Geraldine Brooks might too … Have you ever read her Foreign Correspondent? A bit of a play on the fact that while she was working as a foreign correspondent she decided to track down her childhood pen pals. If you had pen friends and you haven’t read it, you might enjoy it.

      • November 11, 2011 9:58 pm

        Gosh my penpals were all over the shop – no wonder I started out the nomadic life so early.. Have to snap this one up too. Just ordered Carpentaria!

        • November 11, 2011 10:35 pm

          Oh, good for you re Carpentaria Catherine. I look forward to hearing what you think.

          And LOL re penfriends. I just had two, one in Japan and one in France, but they both lasted several years. I still have their letters.

      • November 12, 2011 1:49 am

        I haven’t read Foreign Correspondent yet, but I do have a copy I picked up at a secondhand bookshop over the summer. I am looking forward to reading it.

  4. November 11, 2011 7:08 pm

    I am keen to read this one too….I’ve ordered it, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

    • November 11, 2011 10:31 pm

      I’m so tempted by this one too … but haven’t ordered it yet. I can feel it coming on though.

  5. November 13, 2011 12:25 am

    hope you read it I thinkm it is a great insight into south korea and how it has changed so much ,look forward to your reviews for shadow man asian ,all the best stu

    • November 13, 2011 12:43 am

      Thanks Stu … I have recommended it for one of my online reading groups. I hope it will get selected there which will make it easier for me to slot it in! My fingers are crossed. Otherwise, I’ll do my best to read it anyhow.

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