Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith

I loved The Vegetarian by Han Kang (and translated by the phenomenal Deborah Smith). It is a beautiful and unsettling story about a woman, Yeong-hye, who begins to have horrible nightmares—of blood and carnage—and in order to clear her mind and rid herself of these dreams becomes a vegetarian. The story becomes one of control and power as her husband and family try to break her back into submission. To further emphasize her lack of control, Yeong-hye’s own story is even told by others, in three parts, first by her husband, then her brother-in-law, and finally by her sister. It’s a dark and fascinating book and I can’t recommend it enough, especially if you enjoyed Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah. It’s my pick for the Man Book International Prize for this year.

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