Please Look After Mom

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Please Look After Mom
Cover of Please Look After Mom.jpg
English Paperback Reprint Cover
Author Kyung-sook Shin
Original title 엄마를 부탁해 (Omma rul put'akhae)
Translator Chi-young Kim
Country Korea
Genre novel
Publisher Changbi
Publication date
2008
Published in English
2011
Awards Man Asian Literary Prize

Please Look After Mom (Hangul: 엄마를 부탁해) is a novel by South Korean author Kyung-sook Shin. It sold a million copies within 10 months of release in 2009 in South Korea, is critically acclaimed internationally and the English translation by Chi-young Kim won the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The novel has been adapted as a stage play and musical.[8]

As of April 2012, the book has sold 2 million copies and the publisher has printed a 10,000-copy special edition to commemorate the achievement.[9] The book was also chosen by Oprah to be one of her "18 Books to Watch for in April 2011[10] and by Amazon as one of its "Best Books of the Month: April 2011".[11]

Plot[edit]

When sixty-nine-year-old So-Nyo is separated from her husband among the crowds of the Seoul subway station, her family begins a desperate search to find her. Yet as long-held secrets and private sorrows begin to reveal themselves, they are forced to wonder: how well did they actually know the woman they called Mom? The novel explores the loss, self-recrimination, and in some cases, self-discovery caused by the mother's disappearance. The novel also considers themes related to the self-sacrifice of mothers in general (and in Korean in particular), the relationship between memories of the past and realities of the present, and the chameleonic aspects of identity.[12]

Style[edit]

The style of Please Look After Mom is a bit unusual, as Julie Hunt noted in booklist, "Composed almost entirely in second-person narration, the writing is sharp, biting, and intensely moving."[13]

Characters[edit]

  • Park So-nyo - mother of four children
  • Hyong-chol - So-nyo's oldest son
  • Chi-hon - So-nyo's second daughter
  • Yu-bin - Chi-hon's boyfriend
  • Yun Chin Hyong-chol's daughter
  • Yun Kyun - So-nyo's brother in law
  • Hong Tae-hee: a director of an orphanage whom she donated to

Stage play cast[edit]

  • Jeong Hye-seon - Park Son-yo
  • Sim Yang-hong - Mr Yun
  • Kil Yong-woo - Young-chul
  • Seo Yee-sook - Ji-yeon

Reception[edit]

The book was also chosen by Oprah to be one of her "18 Books to Watch for in April 2011[14] and by Amazon as one of its "Best Books of the Month: April 2011".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "South Korean novelist announced as first woman to win Man Asian Literary Prize" Man Asian Prize homepage 15 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (March 30, 2011). "A Mother’s Devotion, a Family’s Tearful Regrets". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Kyung-sook Shin". Man Asian Literary Prize. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  4. ^ "Press Release: Kyung-sook Shin’s “Please Look After Mom” American Debut Celebration". Koreanculture.org. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  5. ^ "Please Look After Mom: an Interview With Kyung-sook Shin". Sampsonia Way Magazine. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  6. ^ "Kyung-sook Shin wins Man Asian literary prize". BBC News. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  7. ^ "South Korean woman wins Man Asian Literary Prize". CNN. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  8. ^ "[PREVIEW] Please Look After Mom". HanCinema. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  9. ^ "Please Look After Mom Sells 2 Million Copies" Chosun Ilbo. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24
  10. ^ "O Magazine". naver.com. Oprah.com. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "18 Books to Watch for in April 2011". naver.com. Amazon. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Please Look After Mom Study Guide & Plot Summary". bookrags.com. Bookrags. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Please Look After Mom Bilingual Set". hanbooks.com. Hanbooks. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "O Magazine". naver.com. Oprah.com. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "18 Books to Watch for in April 2011". naver.com. Amazon. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 

External links[edit]