The Vegetarian by Han Kang


Somehow it seems i don’t read much Eastern Asian novels and since i want to dedicate myself more to this new blog i will try to review more books here.

Although i tend to distrust popular book prizes or books prized by major newspapers and i tend also resist the temptations of reading books which have many buzz around them but am also weak toward translated book and if it is a novel from countries i never read from books so i habe picked this short but heavy novel

It is a short as it consists of 188 pages but also heavy as it deals with topics which are not ususally the normal table talks and so i found myself stopping midway not of awe but also of the heavy subjects it speaks off.
although the book donot talks about vegetarianism but it talks about Resistance,Conformity,Mental illness,sexism.domestic violence rape and consent and what if people who are most close to you are the people who least understand you, what you are going through or what you are needing.

The protoganist of the novel is yeong hye which is a common women who after one dream stops eating meat that leads her to confront her family and her husband as they refuse her new decision and tries to force her to return to eating meat.

We read the story from three angles the first part of the book we read her husband version of what happened and in the second part we read her sister husband and in the third part we read her sister version of what has happened

I recommend this book to anyone intersted in Korean literature but also able to stomach reading such stories of mental breakdown.


  1. I read her novel Human Acts before I read this one and to be honest I think Human Acts is the better novel, it’s outstanding in fact. She is a unique writer and I’m glad her work is being translated into English so that we have a chance to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and the English reading world is really only just beginning to open itself up to translations, I have been reading for a long time, but only since writing a blog and meeting readers from around the world, have I become more and more drawn towards works in translations, for exactly that reason you describe, the bridge to understanding other perspectives and not just those where there is a common language.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I tend to avoid prizes as well, especially after some of the stories of bias that come out. It’s great to read widely, especially from other continents, there is so much good stuff out there. Although I haven’t read this book, I am hoping to get my hands on it (and anything I can) soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. in this era of political correcteness i also hate well respected prizes given to people because of their race not because of their merits.
      Am really glad to learned Engish because of it many doors were opened to me, am looking forward to read your review on this book

      Liked by 1 person

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