2016 Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker International Prize 2016

Deborah Smith and Han Kang on hearing the winners' announcement

The Man Booker International Prize fell in line with its Man Booker Prize sibling and became an annual award for a single book. Han Kang and her translator Deborah Smith scooped the first honours.

With the £50,000 prize money now being split equally, the modest pair had cause for celebration when The Vegetarian, the story of a woman whose decision to give up eating meat has unexpected consequences, beat a strong shortlist that included Elena Ferrante and Orhan Pamuk. Han, who is Korean, and Smith, who is British (and learnt Korean because she saw few of its books in English) treated the translation as an imaginative rather than literal word-for-word exercise. A second collaboration, The White Book, also made the prize shortlist in 2018.

Han Kang
Translated by
Deborah Smith
Published by
Portobello Books
Fraught, disturbing, and beautiful, Han Kang’s novel is about shame and desire, and our faltering attempts to understand the lives of others. Translated by Deborah Smith.

The Shortlist

A Strangeness in My Mind

Translated by Ekin Oklap

A Whole Life

Translated by Charlotte Collins

The Four Books

Translated by Carlos Rojas

The Vegetarian
Prize winner

Translated by Deborah Smith

The Longlist

The 2016 judges