Nominated by:

The National Library Service, Bridgetown, Barbados

Publisher of nominated edition:

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

Please Look After Mom

Kyung-Sook Shin    

Translated from the original Korean by Chi-Young Kim

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?

Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Kyung-Sook Shin is the author of numerous works of fiction and is one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She was the first woman to be awarded the Man Asian Literary Prize (for Please Look After Mom), and she has also been honored with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France’s Pirx de l’Inaperçu. Please Look After Mom is her first book to appear in English. It will be published in twenty-nine countries and has sold over 2 million copies in South Korea alone.

Librarian’s Comments

Please Look After Mom is a story of familial loss and ongoing, of many covers of shame and submission beneath one’s roof. This book can change how one views life. It contains four stories, four voices, four commitments and four heartbreaks into one dynamic whole. A book about a selfish, dysfunctional family who fails to appreciate a wife and mother and now too late she’s gone. The book deals with the guilt of neglect and abandonment the family feels in the aftermath of her disappearance.

Related Entries