The weekly herding: award winners and choosers

I’ve only briefly dipped into blog reading this week, and these are a couple of the things that caught my eye.

No reason, just oddly pleasing

Han Kang interview

First up is a lovely Guardian interview with South Korean author Han Kang, whose novel The Vegetarian won this year’s Man Booker International Prize. It tells the fable of a woman who refuses to eat. In this short audio, she is asked whether her book can be interpreted as a political allegory and she talks about how differently the subject of food is viewed by different nationalities – for example, in Argentina, where meat is often eaten three times a day, refusing it is seen as rejecting life.

She also references her short story ‘The Fruit of My Woman’, which served as the inspiration for the novel. By coincidence, a link to it popped up in my Facebook newsfeed ealier today and you can read it free on the Granta magazine website.

The interview is worth listening to if only for Han’s gorgeous, soothing voice. I’d imagine hearing her reading from her work would be mesmeric.


Short story, long process

Then there was a likeable article by the literary editorial assistant who was tasked with wading through a vast number of short stories to help compile the most recent O Henry Prize anthology  – the previously published stories being rounded up from the many US literary journals in existence. There isn’t much to be learned from it – other than that dumpsters, lakes and lengthy story titles are currently very popular in the American short story world – but it’s an enjoyable read.




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