Fraught, disturbing, and beautiful, Han Kang’s novel about is about shame and desire, and our faltering attempts to understand the lives of others. Translated by Deborah Smith.
Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people living in modern day South Korea. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. But then Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, commits a shocking act of subversion. As her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, Yeong-hye spirals further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming - impossibly, ecstatically - a tree.
About the AuthorHan Kang is a South Korean writer. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.
About the TranslatorDeborah Smith FRSL is a British translator of Korean fiction. She translated 2016 Man Booker International Prize-winning novel The Vegetarian by Korean author Han Kan.