I wrote this email to the author Han Kang afer reading her book The Vegetarian. Unfortunately the email address listed on her website is not functioning, so I’m posting my email to her here. The Vegetarian is a beautiful and book and do read it if you chance upon it.
I’ve finished reading your novel Vegetarian yesterday. I wanted to tell you that it’s an amazing piece of art. It is surreal, the language simple, yet beautiful. I’m glad I came across it. You must’ve heard this a thousand times already but the beginning reminded me a lot of Kafka. Was that intentional?
The way you’ve portrayed Yeong-hye through others is fascinating. She is a but a reflection of whoever tells their story through her. I’m unaware of the Korean society and how women are treated there but it is chilling to see the role the men play in Yeong-hye’s life.
The role of In-hye is far more interesting than the men in the novel. Your interpretation that In-hye was such a homely person, and took up the responsibilities is not because of her courage but the lack thereof is thought provoking. Is that why people do what they do, day in and day out so that they don’t ruffle the feathers? What happens to In-hye though? Does she have the courage to give into her dreams or does she let her fears keep her rooted to reality? It’s a wonderful question you pose, is it cowardice that keeps one sane?
This book brought me great joy and I look forward to reading more of your works. Thank you.
Sent from iPhone