W. F. Howes lands audio rights to Sok-yong’s Booker-shortlisted epic

W. F. Howes, RBmedia’s UK publishing brand, has secured the audio rights to Hwang Sok-yong’s critically acclaimed novel Mater 2-10, which was recently shortlisted for the 2024 International Booker Prize. 

Dubbed “a masterpiece” by the Guardian, Mater 2-10 is an epic, multi-generational tale that threads together a century of Korean history told through the lives of three generations of a family of rail workers and a laid-off factory employee. 

The novel vividly depicts the lives of ordinary working Koreans, starting from the Japanese colonial era, continuing through liberation, and up to the 21st century. 

Hwang Sok-yong, whose previous novels include At Dusk, Familiar Things, and Princess Bari, is one of South Korea’s most celebrated contemporary writers, renowned internationally. 

The UK and Commonwealth audio rights were acquired by Kay Farrell, Acquisitions Editor at W. F. Howes, from Laura Susijn at The Susijn Agency Ltd. Farrell commented, “Hwang Sok-yong has achieved something rare here—a novel that reflects the lives of modern industrial workers, presenting their roots through lives spanning over a hundred years and bringing those characters, often missing from our literary history, to the fore. The culmination of his life’s work, it showcases Hwang at his best: bridging political struggle with thoroughly engaging literature.” 

Kay Farrell added, “Hwang is one of the most prominent literary voices of his generation who is undoubtedly worthy of all the praise he receives, both in his native South Korea and abroad. A novel that was 30 years in the making, Mater 2-10 is an absolute triumph, and the perfect culmination of Hwang’s illustrious writing career. We are delighted to have acquired this title and can’t wait to bring it to life in audio this summer.” 

The W. F. Howes audio edition of Mater 2-10 by Hwang Sok-yong will be published in July 2024.