The Vegetarian (Paperback)
I can always count on any book short-listed or selected as a winner for the Man Booker Prizes to stretch my boundaries. The winner of last year’s Man Booker International Award, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, is no exception. The novel is told in three parts from three different characters’ points of view. A young wife, Yeong-hye, makes a commitment to eschew meat because of disturbing dreams she has, and the repercussions have a devastating effect on not only her, but her husband, brother-in-law, and sister. This is not a book for those looking for a light read, but Deborah Smith’s translation of Kang’s book, originally written in Korean, is lyrical and hypnotic. I was unable to put the book down, morbidly fascinated by the deterioration of these people and their relationships.— Mamie
Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize
A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams invasive images of blood and brutality torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that's become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.
Celebrated by critics around the world, "The Vegetarian" is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman's struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.
About the Author
Han Kang was born in 1970 in South Korea. In 1993 she made her literary debut as a poet, and was first published as novelist in 1994. A participant of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Han has won the Man Booker International Prize, the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today's Young Artist Award, and the Manhae Literary Prize. She currently works as a professor in the Department of Creative Writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.
www.writerhankang.com "From the Hardcover edition."