Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Vegetarian: A Novel
Ji su: It starts off unremarkably. Told from a husband’s perspective. His wife suddenly becomes a vegetarian. Throws all the meat out of the fridge. Cooks only vegetables, no fish, no eggs.
Mi na: Seriously vegan?
Ji su: And her sister is surprised, but tries to understand. Everyone but her sister drifts away over some years.
Mi na: Tragedy?
Ji su: Not entirely. Nice imagery. “Summer trees flicker like huge green fireworks.” Insightful. “She’d become the hard-working, self-sacrificing eldest daughter…a sign not of maturity… but a survival tactic.”
Mi na: Yes, that makes you think a bit about why elder siblings become the responsible ones.
Ji su: Many things are not as they seem.
The Vegetarian. By Han Kang. Ably translated by Deoborah Smith. 2016 Man Booker Prize. Mental illness as seen from the sufferer, the caregivers, family, friends, doctors.