The Slow Food Russian River Book Group will be discussing the book The Vegetarian – A Novel (London ; New York : Hogarth, 2014) by Han Kang on Thursday, April 6, 2016. Translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. Originally published: October 30, 2007.
To RSVP email the Book Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Book Group is open to anyone who can read, loves cooking a dish, and likes a good conversation.
The Book Group meets the first Thursday of the month, 7 – 9pm in Sebastopol. It’s a convivial dinner. Please bring a dish for four and a beverage.
To be a member of the Book Group you don’t need to be a member of Slow Food, although – of course – we hope that with time you will become one.
A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.
Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.
Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Publisher’s Weekly • Buzzfeed • Entertainment Weekly • Time • Wall Street Journal • Bustle • Elle • The Economist • Slate • The Huffington Post • The St. Louis Dispatch • Electric Literature
“The Vegetarian (Hangul: 채식주의자; RR: Chaesikju-uija) is a South Korean three-part drama novella written by Han Kang and first published in 2007. Based on Kang’s 1997 short story “The Fruit of My Woman”, The Vegetarian is set in modern-day Seoul and tells the story of Yeong-hye, a home-maker, whose decision to stop eating meat after a bloody, nightmarish dream about human cruelty.” More…
By Porochista Khakpour (NY Times Sunday Book Review, Feb. 2, 2016)
“All the trigger warnings on earth cannot prepare a reader for the traumas of this Korean author’s translated debut in the Anglophone world.” More…
“The Vegetarian by Han Kang tells a dangerously defiant story,” by Ilana Masad (The Guardian, Friday 23 December 2016)
“After a frightening dream involving intense violence, she becomes a vegetarian (really, she is a vegan as she refuses to eat any animal products). This infuriates her husband, Mr Cheong, the narrator of the first portion of the book. He thinks that Yeong-hye is being ridiculous, whimsical rather than determined. When he finds her clearing out all the meat products from their fridge, including expensive seafood, he is incredulous. How is it possible that his docile, dull, quiet wife has turned into someone like this?” More…
The Bottom Line: ‘The Vegetarian’ by Claire Fallon (The Huffington Post, January 29, 2016)
In Han Kang’s ‘The Vegetarian,’ a clean eating obsession is a subversive act of self-reclamation. (…) In South Korea, meat and animal products have traditionally been staples of the societal diet — bulgogi, bibimbap with a steaming egg on top, grilled pork belly, seafood pancakes — and when character Yeong-hye suddenly gives up all meat and animal products, it rends her entire social fabric. More…
Author Han, Kang, 1970-
Title The vegetarian : a novel / Han Kang ; translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith.
Imprint London ; New York : Hogarth,  Edition First U.S. edition.
Description 188 pages ; 22 cm
Note Originally published in 2007 in Korean as three separate novelettes and then combined into a novel. — t.p. verso.