Today I’d like to tell you about a short novel that I literally devoured during my holiday in Prague: The Vegetarian by Han Kang. It was the first South-Korean novel I’ve read and this was a very interesting experience, indeed.
This very short novel recounts the story of Yeong-hye, a young housewife who suddenly decides to become a vegetarian. This decision upsets her family and her husband, who try by all means to make her come to her senses. It is hard to tell you more about the plot without spoiling the novel and what makes it so fascinating, so I am going to stop here for the plot.
The novel is divided into three parts, each being told from a different point of view. The first part, “The Vegetarian”, is narrated by Yeong-hye’s husband, Mr Cheong. The second part, “Mongolian Mark”, is told from an omniscient point of view but focuses a lot on Yeong-hye’s brother-in-law’s (Yeong-hye’s sister’s husband) thoughts. Finally, “Flaming Trees” has also got an omniscient point of view but with a clear focus on In-hye’s – Yeong-hye’s sister – thoughts.