The Korea Herald


Han Kang wins prestigious French award for foreign literature

By Yonhap

Published : Nov. 9, 2023 - 21:50

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Han Kang (Munhakdongne Publishing) Han Kang (Munhakdongne Publishing)

South Korean author Han Kang won a prestigious French literary award Thursday with her novel "I Do Not Bid Farewell."

The 2021 book was named the winner of the Prix Medicis award for foreign literature.

The Prix Medicis, founded in 1958, is among the top literary awards honoring works of fiction in France. The foreign literature category was added in 1970 to recognize books published in translation.

Han had also been nominated for the Prix Medicis with "Greek Lessons" in 2017.

"I Do Not Bid Farewell" was published in 2021, five years after Han won the International Booker Prize with "The Vegetarian."

"I Do Not Bid Farewell" depicts the tragedy of a 1948 civilian massacre on South Korea's southern island of Jeju from the perspective of three women.

The then government distorted the April 3, 1948, uprising of Jeju islanders against U.S. military-led rule as a communist riot and massacred an estimated 14,000-30,000 civilians, or up to 10 percent of the island's population at the time.

The French edition of the novel was published in August under the title "Impossibles adieux." (Yonhap)