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08 April 2022, 10:20

Chung Bora shortlisted for 2022 International Booker Prize


SEOUL, 8 April (BelTA -Yonhap News). - South Korean novelist Chung Bora has made it to the shortlist for the 2022 International Booker Prize, one of the three largest literary awards in the world.

The author of "Cursed Bunny" was among the six finalists for the British prize, established in 2005 to honor an author and translator equally for a single work of fiction translated into English, the Booker Prize Foundation announced on social media and its homepage Thursday.

Anton Hur, a Sweden-born Korean who translated the book into English, was also put on the list along with Chung.

Novelist Park Sang-young of "Love in the Big City," who was longlisted for the prize together with Chung last month, was not included this time.

It is the third time a South Korean author has advanced to the final stage of the prize. Han Kang's "The Vegetarian" and "The White Book" were shortlisted for the prize in 2016 and 2018, respectively, and Han was the winner in 2016.

The five others in the running for this year's prestigious award for translated fiction are Olga Tokarczuk of "The Books of Jacob," Jon Fosse of "A New Name: Septology VI-VII," Mieko Kawakami of "Heaven," Claudia Pineiro of "Elena Knows" and Geetanjali Shree of "Tomb of Sand."

"In South Korea, the distinction between pure and genre literature tends to be clear," Chung told Yonhap News Agency by phone after being shortlisted for the prize. "I'm proud to be recognized for a mixed genre that is fantastic and seems like a bedtime story but not sci-fi fiction."

She added that she is pleased to remain on the same list with her favorite novelist, Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Chung, who has distinguished herself in sci-fi and horror fantasy novels, graduated from Yonsei University in Seoul and earned a master's degree in Russian and East European studies from Yale University and a doctorate in Slavic literature from Indiana University. She currently teaches Russian language and literature, and science fiction studies at Yonsei University, and translates modern literary works from Russian and Polish into Korean.

Published in South Korea in 2017, "Cursed Bunny" is a collection of 10 science-fiction short stories on curses and revenge. Its English translation was published by British publisher Honford Star last year.

"Korean author Chung Bora uses elements of the fantastic and surreal to address the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society," the Booker Prize Foundation said of the novelist on its homepage.

It also said Anton Hur's translation "skilfully captures the way Chung's prose effortlessly glides from the terrifying to the wryly humorous."

The winner will be announced on May 26, with the top prize of 50,000 pounds (US$65,000) to be shared equally by the author and the translator.

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