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Han Kang’s novel shortlisted for 2 prestigious French awards

SEOUL, A novel from acclaimed South Korean novelist Han Kang is a finalist in foreign-language categories of two prestigious French literary awards, the book's Korean publisher said Saturday.

According to Munhakdongne, "I Do Not Bid Farewell" was shortlisted for the Prix Femina for foreign literature and the Prix Medicis for foreign literature on Tuesday and Oct. 18, respectively.

The Femina and Medicis awards are prestigious literary awards that are considered to be among France's four major literary awards, along with the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Renaudot.

The Prix Femina for foreign literature was established as a category of the Prix Femina in 1985 to honor the best foreign-language literary work translated into French of the year. Korean writers Lee Seung-woo and Hwang Sok-yong have been nominated for the award before.

The Medici foreign literature award is a foreign literature category of the Prix Medicis, which was established in 1970 to honor experimental works.

This marks Han's second nomination for the award, following her first for her novel "Greek Lessons" in 2017.

The winner of the two prizes will be announced on Nov. 6 and Nov. 9, respectively.

"I Do Not Bid Farewell" is a full-length novel released by Han in 2021, five years after winning the International Booker Prize in 2016.

The novel 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 the 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 by Grasset in September under the title "Impossibles adieux."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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