Daesan Literary Awards announces four winners
Published : Nov 4, 2019 - 17:18
Updated : Nov 4, 2019 - 17:18
The Daesan Foundation announced the four winners of the 27th annual Daesan Literary Awards on Monday.

Poet Oh Eun won for his book of poetry titled “I Have a Name” (translated); Cho Hae-jin for her novel “Simple Sincerity” (translated); and Yun Sun-young and Philipp Haas for their joint German translation of “Nana im Morgengrauen” written by Park Hyoung-su. The Daesan Foundation decided not to make an award in the drama category after a long discussion, saying no plays qualified for the prize this time.

Oh and Cho attended the press conference held Monday at the Gwanghwamun Kyobo Building in Seoul, but the two literary translators are in Germany and could not attend. 

Winners of Daesan Literary Awards Oh Eun (left) and Cho Hae-jin pose at a press conference held Monday at the Gwanghwamun Kyobo Building in Jongno, central Seoul. (Daesan Foundation)

Kwak Hyo-hwan, executive director of the Daesan Foundation, read out Yun’s acceptance speech on her behalf.

“I hope curiosity in Korean language ignited by K-pop expands to interest in Korean literature. Literary translation itself is like steppingstones that link foreign readers to Korean literature, and a translator is a person who lays each steppingstone between them,” the speech read.

Oh was the youngest of the 10 finalists in the poetry category, and his collection of poetry demonstrated his generation’s sensibilities in a unique way, the Daesan Foundation said. The novel “Simple Sincerity” touched on a social issue -- the isolation that women face in Korean society -- according to the foundation.

“Sometimes, I question myself whether I am doing well as a novelist, and I feel like the award was telling me not to get lost,” Cho said at the press conference.

Asked why many of her novels deal with issues in Korean society, she said, “As a novelist, I want to leave a record of the current Korean society to help the next generation understand what kind of issues Korea once faced.”

The Daesan Foundation, founded by Kyobo Life Insurance Co., administers the awards every year and each winner receives 50 million won ($43,113). The award-winning poetry book and novel will be translated into various languages and published overseas next year.

The award ceremony will be held Nov. 27 at the Korea Press Center in Seoul. 

By Park Yuna (