Saturday, 16 January 2016

Book reviewer: Brown Books & Green Tea

As part of our #diverseauthorday Greenacre Writers want to continue the trend and will be posting interesting books and linking to book reviewers. This one is perfect for #ReadDiverse2016 a new initiative via Twitter.
Han Kang was born in Gwangju in 1970 and moved to Seoul at the age of ten, later studying Korean literature at Yonsei University. She made her literary debut as a poet in 1993 and has since published collections of short stories including Love in YeosuA Yellow Patterned Eternity, and The Fruits of My Woman as well as novels including Your Cold HandBlack DeerGreek Lessons and The Vegetarian. Her writing has won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today’s Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award. She currently teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. The Vegetarian is published by Portobello Books.
Deborah Smith translated The Vegetarian and the latest novel by Han Kang, Human Acts. published by Portobello Books. She is currently finishing a PhD in Korean Literature at SOAS, and has recently founded Tilted Axis, a not-for-profit press which will publish translations from non-European languages. 

The following quote is from a review written by Whitney, for her blog Brown Books & Green Tea:

“The Vegetarian is a book that requires a bit of thought after reading it. You physically put the book (or in my case, my Kindle app) away, but your mind still tries to make sense of what you just read. It was something very different from what I’d been reading recently....A book in three acts, The Vegetarian’s first chapter begins with Yeong-Hye’s decision not to eat meat. The decision, resulting from a series of graphic dreams, has a surprising affect on her family. Her husband, for example, is livid that she has interrupted an otherwise average lifestyle when she says she will no longer cook meat or allow it in their house. Similarly, her father is irate that she refuses to eat meat at his behest. As they continue to provide unsolicited direction, she becomes less and less responsive to her family’s interventions, which climaxes in abuse and self harm (I think at this point, its appropriate to provide a warning for spousal rape). She is unfazed as she loses everything. This is just the beginning of Yeong-Hye’s decent into madness.”

Whitney, is a 25 year old, with a love for multicultural literature and hot tea. She has bachelor degrees in Philosophy and International Studies, and an MA in International Security. Since graduation, she has been struggling to regain her adolescent love for reading. And thus, BB&GT was born! Her hope is that the blog will be a place for her to read with friends and family. many of whom have also expressed an interest in reading more. Visit the blog for book reviews, critical analysis, and deeply steeped tea!

Once you've read The Vegetarian, try Human Acts (2014) Han Kang, has said they are like a pair. Tr. Deborah Smith (2016), Portobello Books paperback

You can follow Deborah Smith on Twitter: @londonkoreanist
You can follow Whitney on Twitter: @BBandGT

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