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The Man Booker International Prize Backlist

The Man Booker International Prize 2016

The 2016 Winner

The Vegetarian

Translated by Deborah Smith

Published by Portobello Books

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, commits a shocking act of subversion. As her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, Yeong-hye spirals further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree. Fraught, disturbing, and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another. 

The 2016 Shortlist

The 2016 Longlist

The 2016 judges

Boyd Tonkin (Chair)

Tahmima Anam  

David Bellos

Daniel Medin

Ruth Padel