Reading guide: The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
Use our comprehensive reading guide to explore the winner of the International Booker Prize 2016, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
Fraught, disturbing, and beautiful, Han Kang’s novel 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.