I haven’t updated here on my Man Booker International award journey in a while, but I’ve been plugging away. A couple of weeks ago the short list was announced. (In fact it was announced on my birthday!) Although I hadn’t made as much of a dent in the long list as I liked, I was pleasantly surprised/concerned the books I hadn’t read didn’t seem to make the list. This is a good thing, because it gave me time to read the non-short list books first. It was a bad thing, because I still felt as though I had a long way to go before I could speak intelligently about the award.
Since I last wrote about the award, I’ve managed to finish two more books, both on the short list. The Vegetarian by Han Kang and the The Four Books by Yan Lianke were both interesting and fast paced reads, to a certain extent. In comparison to the three books I previously read off the list, I completely understand how these two books made it on the short list. I’ll post my thoughts on these novels in a different post, but in general The Four Books was amazing. The narration was fantastic and immersive and relevant to Chinese culture. The Vegetarian was also very culturally relevant, but almost to the point where I feel a lot of the story was lost on my lack of understanding about the Korean culture.
Right now, I’m almost half way through The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal. This book has gotten increased attention and some outcry from not being included on the short list for the MBI award. Although I’m not finished, I can see why people gravitated to this novel. It’s a interesting tale of the process of organ donation and is affects on all who are involved (family members of the donor, doctors/nurses, family members of the recipients). I’ve liked what I’ve read so far, and the book has such a large social commentary that I’m sure to post a review in the near future.
Until Next Time World…