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
Translator Chi-young Kim
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Genre novel
Publisher Changbi
Publication date
2008
Published in English
2011
Awards Man Asian Literary Prize
Please Look After Mom
Hangul 엄마를 부탁해
Revised Romanization Eommareul butakhae
McCune–Reischauer Ŏmmarŭl put'akhae

Please Look After Mom (Hangul엄마를 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 two 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]

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]