Review time again! Today, I’m reviewing The White Book by Han Kang. After last week’s review, I was thinking ‘oh, this will be a much easier review to write!’. Reader, I was wrong. I’m not sure how to categorise this book, let alone review it! According to GoodReads, the most popular shelf titles for this book are “poetry” and “fiction”. The format is definitely prose poetry, but I’m not sure how much of the events detailed are fictional, and how many are taken from the author’s life. The way it’s presented feels more autobiographical and observational than fictional, but without having seen either approach confirmed by Han Kang, I wouldn’t want to say either way.
The Vegetarian was the last book I read in April, and wow, what a way to finish the month! Han Kang’s novel is told across three parts, each with a focus on a different character. Each different character bears some relationship to the central character, the vegetarian herself, Yeong-Hye. I had heard before I started reading this book that it’s ‘weird’, and to some extent, I agree. This is not a book for the faint-hearted, as it is gory and repulsive in places. Despite the subject matter, Kang’s talent for writing and Deborah Smith’s amazing translation transforms this story into something that is, somehow, beautiful.
Warning: this book contains sensitive topics, including rape, suicide attempts/self-harm, eating disorders, and mental illness, and this review will discuss some of those topics.Read More »