The Vegetarian


Author: Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith

9781846276033 | PB | pp. 180 | 2018 | Granta Books

The Vegetarian by Han King is a story about a person’s state of mind, the decision to let life go or to hold onto it, and our inability to truly understand one another. The story was written in and is set in South Korea and translated for publication in the US.

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The Vegetarian is a novel by Han Kang that tells the story of Yeong-hye, a part-time graphic artist and home-maker, who decides to stop eating meat after a bloody, nightmarish dream about human cruelty. The novel is set in modern-day Seoul and is narrated through the eyes of three members of Yeong-hye’s family: her husband, her brother-in-law, and her sister In-hye. Yeong-hye’s decision to stop eating meat leads to devastating consequences in her personal and familial life, as she becomes distanced from her family and from society. The novel has received international critical acclaim, with critics praising Han’s writing style and the translation by Deborah Smith. In May 2016, it won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

Additional information


Han Kang
Translator: Deborah Smith







Year of Publication:



Vintage Books





Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

Han Kang is a South Korean writer. She won the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2016 for this book, The Vegetarian, which is also one of the first of her books to be translated into English.

Deborah Smith FRSL is a British translator of Korean fiction. She translated this book, The Vegetarian by Korean author Han Kang, for which she and the author were co-winners of the Man Booker International Prize in 2016.


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