Han Kang’s ‘I Do Not Bid Farewell’ wins French literature award

Author Han Kang's 'I Do Not Bid Farewell' is chosen as the winner of the 7th edition of the Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature in France on Feb. 29. Yonhap

Author Han Kang’s “I Do Not Bid Farewell” is chosen as the winner of the 7th edition of the Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature in France on Feb. 29. Yonhap

Acclaimed novelist Han Kang’s latest novel “I Do Not Bid Farewell” has won a French literary award.

The novel took home the Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature, according to the award’s organizer Friday (French time), for her “restrained expression and the universality of its themes.”

The author did not attend the award ceremony due to her schedule.

“The novel is about people who are determined not to bid farewell. They light candles under the sea in the depths of the night,” she said in her acceptance message delivered through her publisher.

“I hope they never stop believing in the flickering light like them.”

Inaugurated in 2017, the annual award is given to works of literature written in Asian languages by the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts.

“I Do Not Bid Farewell,” published in September 2021, depicts the tragedy of a 1948 civilian massacre on Korea’s southern island of Jeju from the perspective of three women.

The French edition of the novel was published by Grasset in August last year under the title “Impossibles adieux.”

In November, the book won the prestigious Prix Medicis for foreign literature. Established in 1970, the Prix Medicis is among France’s four major literary awards to celebrate exceptional literary works. (Yonhap)

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