A haunting work of fiction by award-winning Korean author Han Kang is one of 13 titles vying for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize. The prize, established in 2005, recognizes books in translation that have been published in the United Kingdom and comes with an award of nearly $70,000, split between author and translator.
In “The White Book,” translated from Korean by Deborah Smith, an unnamed narrator meditates on the death of her older sister, who died as an infant just two hours after she was born. Han and Smith won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for Han’s novel “The Vegetarian.”
Other works on the list include “Go, Went, Gone” by Jenny Erpenbeck, about a retired professor who befriends African asylum-seekers in Germany; “Like a Fading Shadow” by Antonio Muñoz Molina, about the months James Earl Ray spent on the run after assassinating Martin Luther King Jr.; and “Frankenstein in Baghdad” by Ahmed Saadawi, about an Iraqi junk dealer collecting human body parts to create a monster corpse.
A shortlist of six books will be announced on April 12, and the winner of the prize will be revealed on May 22 during a ceremony in London. Past recipients include David Grossman of Israel, Chinua Achebe of Nigeria and two American authors, Philip Roth and Lydia Davis.