The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian

Han Kang

This is an extremely sad, disturbing, distressing and violent novel from South Korea describing a young woman's descent into insanity. The mundane lives of the family in Seoul hide some strange addictions and obsessions. The subject matter is complex but the writing is crystal clear and sharp. Beautifully translated from Korean. Definitely a novel to make you think - and an author to watch.

Extract

Dark woods. No people. The sharp pointed leaves on the trees, my torn feet. This place, almost remembered, but I'm lost now. Frightened. Cold. Across the frozen ravine, a red barn like building. Straw matting flapping limp across the door. Roll it up and I'm inside, it's inside. A long bamboo stick strung with great blood-red gashes of meat, blood still dripping down. Try to push past but the meat, there's no end to the meat and no exit. Blood in my mouth, blood soaked clothes sucked onto my skin.

Parallels
  • Lowboy by John Wray
  • Wetlands by Charlotte Roche

Books with similar mood

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Then She Was Born

Cristiano Gentili

White Chrysanthemum

Mary Lynn Bracht

The Book of Night Women

Marlon James

Blue Light Yokohama

Nicholás Obregón

The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things

J T LeRoy

Abduction

Anouar Benmalek

Nineteen Eighty

David Peace

Filth

Irvine Welsh

The North Water

Ian McGuire

Merciless Gods

Christos Tsiolkas

When the Time Comes

Josef Winkler

The Peacock Throne

Sujit Saraf

Stillness

Courtney Brkic

The Shore

Sara Taylor

So It Is

Liam Murray Bell

Children of the Sun

Max Schaefer

Massage

Henry Flesh

Call It Dog

Marli Roode

Submergence

J M Ledgard

Notice

Heather Lewis

The Right Madness

James Crumley

Exquisite Corpse

Poppy Z Brite

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing

Eimear McBride

Dolly City

Orly Castel-Bloom

Slip of a Fish

Amy Arnold

Kind One

Laird Hunt

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

Autofiction

Hitomi Kanehara

The Burden of the Desert

Justin Huggler

Ignorance

Michele Roberts

The Hanging Shed

Gordon Ferris

The Siege

Helen Dunmore

Orange Laughter

Leone Ross

Lies, First Person

Gail Hareven

Out of the Rabbit Hutch

Nanette L Avery

Star of the North

D B John

All Our Names

Dinaw Mengestu

The Wasted Vigil

Nadeem Aslam

Diary

Chuck Palahniuk

I Have Waited, and You Have Come

Martine McDonagh

The Emperor of Lies

Steve Sem-Sandberg

Anna

Niccolò Ammaniti

Beside Myself

Ann Morgan

In Praise of Hatred

Khaled Khalifa

Matterhorn

Karl Marlantes

The Last Girl

Stephan Collishaw

Go, Went, Gone

Jenny Erpenbeck

The Doll Princess

Tom Benn