Last year I noted that there were no Korean entrants in the long list for the “Independent Foreign Fiction Prize,” a prize originally given by the British Newspaper The Independent and now administered by Arts Council England.
This caused me to go and try to take a longer look, and what I found wasn’t surprising but was depressing. Not only does it appear that no Korean translations have ever won, but it appears that no Korean translation has even made the long list! In fairness, there were a couple of years in which the prize was not given, and I can’t speak to how many translated Korean books are published in England, but man, that’s a pretty long stretch without even a mention. Might be worth it just to publish a few books in little indie presses just so they can get on the list?
According to the Wikipedia:
Entries (fiction or short stories) must be published in English translation in the UK in the year preceding the award and the author must be alive at the time that the translation is published. Uniquely, the prize acknowledges both the winning novelist and translator, each being awarded £5,000 and a magnum of champagne from drinks sponsor Champagne Taittinger.