Man Booker International Prize-winning South Korean novelist Han Kang and award-winning Kenyan-born novelist and playwright Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o read from their work as part of the 2018-19 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series presented by the Program in Creative Writing.


han kang

Photo by Park Jaehong

Han Kang was born in Gwangju, South Korea, and moved to Seoul at the age of ten. She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University. Her writing has won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today’s Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, was published by Portobello Books in 2015 and won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. She is also the author of Human Acts (Portobello, 2016) and The White Book (Portobello, forthcoming 2017). She is based in Seoul.





Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Photo courtesy Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o was born in Kenya in 1938. His first major play, The Black Hermit, premiered at the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda, in 1962, as part of the celebration of Uganda’s Independence. In 2006 he published what some have described as his crowning achievement, Wizard of the Crow, an English translation of the Gikuyu language novel, Murogi wa Kagogo. He is author of numerous short stories, plays, novels, and other works which have been translated into more than thirty languages and continue to be the subject of books, critical monographs, and dissertations.

Ngũgĩ has served as editor for literary journals including Penpoint, Zuka, Ghala, and Mutiiri. His honors include the 2001 Nonino International Prize for Literature and eleven honorary doctorates. He is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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