Hang Kan investigates the fragility, beauty and strangeness of life in a contemplation of memory, loss and the lives that leave this world before us. Translated by Deborah Smith.

An unnamed narrator moves to a European city where she is haunted by the story of her older sister, who died a mere two hours after birth. As she contemplates the child’s short life she focuses on whiteness and all it symbolises. The White Book is a meditation on colour, beginning with a list of white things. It is a book about mourning, rebirth and the tenacity of the human spirit.

2018 Man Booker International Prize
Published by
Portobello Books
Publication date
Han Kang

Han Kang

About the Author

Han Kang is a South Korean writer. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, won the 2016 Booker International Prize.
More about Han Kang
Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith

About the Translator

Deborah Smith FRSL is a British translator of Korean fiction. She translated 2016 Booker Prize-winning novel The Vegetarian by Korean author Han Kan.
More about Deborah Smith

Other nominated books by Han Kang

Other nominated books by Deborah Smith