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The Vegetarian

by 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.
Translated by Deborah Smith

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