Guest Post by Rajitha S
Rajitha is a 29 -year-old from Hyderabad. After working here and there, and tiring out, she is currently relaxing while waiting for inspiration to do something exciting.
When dearie Aakanksha (:P) asked me to review The Vegetarian, (also the one who suggested this read), I first hesitated and then agreed. After that, I took a lot of time to write it. I am still not sure about how to describe this reading experience. There is an unexplainable, pleasing aftertaste. May be, you can take this as the first reason to read the book.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang was first published in South Korea in 2007. It was later translated into English and re-published in 2015. Here, I would like to mention that my choice of books then was limited, and also awful. Many years later, with a much-evolved taste in books (promise), I list The Vegetarian as one of my best reads of 2020.
The aftertaste I was talking about, it lingers for a long time. I’ll tell you why, without revealing many details.
First, the plot line. The book is set in South Korea and is the story of a woman, Yoeng- Hye who decides to become a vegetarian.
The reason, ‘I had a dream’, she says.
The book is divided into three parts, and each part is narrated from the perspective of three different people. The most interesting aspect here is the tone of narration which varies with the personality of a character. For instance, the first part of the book is from the perspective of a middle-class man, complaining about his wife’s changing lifestyle. It is written in a way that you’d feel he’s sitting across the table and moping about his pathetic life to you personally, seeking pity and approval. This changes in the second part, where the tone becomes slightly more sensitive because, well, I don’t want to give it away. Same with the third part.