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White-Eye Bird: The Vegetarian by Han Kang: Aster(ix) Journal

‘Shorn of its ceremony the body is, at best, a torn, riven thing – covered with hungry orifices.’
(Yaeger, 239)

Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is a slim book, consistently hypnotic and surreal.

This is partly because Yeong-hye, the eponymous vegetarian, spends the novel’s duration in a trance-like state. In short, the dream-logic that moves the book, its motives and outcomes, becomes hard to predict. The reader is not unlike a voyeur, moving around in the backstage passages of unwanted thoughts, and the effect is as unnerving as it is delicious.

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Sue Rainsford