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The Vegetarian  By  cover art

The Vegetarian

By: Han Kang
Narrated by: Janet Song, Stephen Park
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Publisher's summary

WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE • “[Han] Kang viscerally explores the limits of what a human brain and body can endure, and the strange beauty that can be found in even the most extreme forms of renunciation.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Ferocious.”—The New York Times Book Review (Ten Best Books of the Year)
“Both terrifying and terrific.”—Lauren Groff
“Provocative [and] shocking.”—The Washington Post

Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law, and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.

Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

One of the Best Books of the Year—
BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, Wall Street Journal, Time, Elle, The Economist, HuffPost, Slate, Bustle, The St. Louis Dispatch, Electric Literature, Publishers Weekly

©2016 Han Kang (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Surreal . . . [A] mesmerizing mix of sex and violence .”—Alexandra Alter, The New York Times

“[Han Kang] has been rightfully celebrated as a visionary in South Korea . . . Han’s glorious treatments of agency, personal choice, submission and subversion find form in the parable. . . . Ultimately, though, how could we not go back to Kafka? More than The Metamorphosis, Kafka’s journals and ‘A Hunger Artist’ haunt this text.”—Porochista Khakpour, New York Times Book Review

“Indebted to Kafka, this story of a South Korean woman’s radical transformation, which begins after she forsakes meat, will have you reading with your hand over your mouth in shock.”O: The Oprah Magazine