“Erwartete Yong-Hye, dass Äste aus ihr wachsen? Sich weißliche Wurzeln von ihren Händen aus in die schwarze Erde bohren? Sich ihre Beine Richtung Himmel strecken und die Arme auf den Mittelpunkt der Erde zustreben?”
The Vegetarian is the nightmarish story of Yong-Gye, who no longer wants to eat meat and wants to become a plant. In three increasingly intense chapters, South Korean author Han Kang portrays this as societal subversion, as an erotic art project and as a psychiatric drama towards death. The three voices are so subtly shaped in German by Ki-Hyang Lee that the lingering tension in the language is transmitted without compromise between the stoic surface and the simmering underlying forces of a conformist world and its rejection. — Frank Heibert
Han Kang was born in Gwangju, South Korea and, from age 11, grew up in Seoul. In 1993, she made her literary debut with poetry in the magazine Munhak-kwa sahoe (Literature and Society). Soon after that, however, she became known as a prose writer. Her first novel appeared in 1994, a year after she finished her studies in Korean literature. She received the Yi Sang Literary Prize, one of the most important awards for modern literature in South Korea. In 2016, the English translation of The Vegetarian was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for the best English-language novel. Han Kang currently teaches creative writing at the Seoul Cultural Institute.
Author’s website: writerhankang.com
Ki-Hyang Lee, born in Seoul in 1967, studied German, educational theory and Japanese studies in Seoul, Würzburg and Munich. In 2001, she wrote her doctoral thesis on the rise of the new hero in the Late Middle Ages and founded the Märchenwaldverlag publishing house in 2011. In addition to working as a translator and publisher, since 2015 Ki-Hyang Lee has been a language teacher at the Technical University of Munich. After completing the translation of Han Kang’s Human Acts, which will be published in September 2017, Ki-Hyang Lee is currently working on The Hole by the Korean author Pyun Hye-Young.
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