A breathtaking and deeply disturbing novel about the ways in which desire (and lack thereof) transforms, torments, and comes to define one woman's life. Although a turn to vegetarianism may seem inconsequential, Yeong-hye's seizure of her own agency plunges her family into a chaotic spiral even more bizarre than her own detachment from reality. A must-read. — Aubrey Restifo
Have you ever wanted to read a novel so haunting that it keeps you pondering months after its conclusion? Kang's The Vegetarian is definitely the novel to do the trick with its otherworldly look at one woman's self control and obsession about her food intake in a society where vegetarianism is frowned upon. Featuring multiple perspectives from the woman and her family members, this novel shows how others impose their ideologies in order to manipulate the ones around them for their own benefit. — Laura Knapp
A dark and intimate dream into a woman's physical and emotional transformation as told by those closest to her as they struggle through suppressing and succumbing to their own haunting desires. Kang weaves a poetic, sensual story of confusion, passion, and strength.
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."