Han Kang’s “I Do Not Bid Farewell” Awarded Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature

SEOUL - "I Do Not Bid Farewell," the latest novel by renowned South Korean novelist Han Kang, has been honored with the Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature. The award's organizers announced on Friday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, that the novel was recognized for its "restrained expression and the universality of its themes." Han Kang was unable to attend the ceremony due to prior commitments but shared her thoughts through an acceptance message relayed by her publisher.

In her message, Han Kang reflected on the novel's themes, describing it as a narrative about individuals' resolve not to part ways, symbolized by the act of lighting candles under the sea in the dark of night. She expressed her hope that the determination and belief in the faint glimmer of hope, as depicted in her novel, would resonate with readers.

The Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature, established in 2017 by the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts, annually recognizes outstanding literary works penned in Asian languages. "I Do Not Bid Farewell" was published in September 2021 and delves into the tragic events of a civilian massacre in 1948 on Jeju Island, South Korea, through the intertwined lives of three women.

The novel's French edition, titled "Impossibles adieux," was released in August of the previous year by Grasset. Adding to its accolades, "I Do Not Bid Farewell" also received the prestigious Prix Medicis for foreign literature in November, further cementing Han Kang's stature in the international literary community. The Prix Medicis, established in 1970, is one of France's four major literary awards, acknowledging extraordinary contributions to literature.

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