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.

Winner
The Man Booker International Prize 2016
Published by
Portobello Books
Publication date
Han Kang

Han Kang

About the Author

Han Kang is a South Korean writer. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, won the 2016 Booker International Prize.
More about Han Kang
Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith

About the Translator

Deborah Smith FRSL is a British translator of Korean fiction. She translated 2016 Booker Prize-winning novel The Vegetarian by Korean author Han Kan.
More about Deborah Smith

Other nominated books by Han Kang

Other nominated books by Deborah Smith