The Vegetarian: A Novel (Paperback)
  • The Vegetarian: A Novel (Paperback)

The Vegetarian: A Novel (Paperback)

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Paperback Published: 05/11/2015
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Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. 

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more 'plant-like' existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister's husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming - impossibly, ecstatically - a tree. Fraught, disturbing and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781846276033

An Asymptote Journal Salon: International Translation Day 2016

An Asymptote Journal Salon: International Translation Day 2016

London - Piccadilly
Thursday 29th September 19:00

Asymptote is an international journal of literature that was awarded the 2015 London Book Fairs International Translation Initiative Award. The Summer 2016 issue, which was released on July 15, uncovers new writing from 34 countries. Asymptote is a founding member of the Guardian Books Network.


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“Brilliantly bizarre”

Who knew that becoming a vegetarian in South Korea could lead to such shocking instances of abuse and loss of control? Kang's liquid, surreal narrative explores the bizarre and troubling world of a woman whose... More

Paperback edition
24th May 2016
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“Powerful and Transfixing!”

I absolutely loved the experience of reading this novel and yet it is so incredibly difficult to articulate why. It is completely different to the bestselling books of the moment and I have found myself continuing to... More

Paperback edition
22nd May 2016
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“Truly a Thing of Beauty”

For me this was as much a 'reading experience' as it was a beautiful, thought-provoking and moving novel. So many themes are explored - from love, desire and belonging to marriage, patriarchy, misogyny and... More

Paperback edition
16th June 2016
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