Book Review: 엄마를 부탁해 (Eommareul Butakhae/Please Look After Mother) by Shin Kyung-sook

Cover of the Korean Original

Original Language: Korean
Translator: Kim Chi-young
Year: 2011 (Korean original from 2008)
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nelson
Place of Publication: London
Genre: novel (fiction)
Edition: ebook for Kindle (UK)
Other Editions and Translations:  Amazon US; Spanish Por favor, cuida de mamá; French Prends soin de maman, Italian Prenditi cura di lei; Polish Zaopiekuj sie moja mama. Translations into a total of 29 languages are currently in the planning.
Except for multiple re-readings of all English translations of Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) and Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84 (Books 1 and 2), I have done very little reading of fiction as of late. Then 엄마를 부탁해 (Please Look After Mother) came along: I was, admittedly, already on the lookout for some Korean literature, but this book kept being mentioned everywhere: at various places online, in an MA essay I was marking, and so forth. And then it popped up in the Guardian the other day, in a gallery of books that made it onto the shortlist of the Man Asian Literary Prize (winner to be announced March 15), giving me a final push to purchase and read it.
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