Reading List | The Vegetarian + Homegoing
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Vegetarian is the narrative of a young Korean woman who, after having disturbing, blood-filled dreams, decides to become a vegetarian. Her family and friends are shocked by her culturally subversive actions and take it upon themselves to force her out of rebellion. It’s a short read written in an easy English translation, yet it’s not a story to be taken lightly. The Vegetarian is a dark, surreal allegory to modern South Korean culture and the lack of escape given to those who wish to break free from their societal constraints.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing tells of two interwoven family lines; it begins with two Ghanaian half-sisters being separated from their families – one as a slave to American and the other married to a British slaver – and continues with one chapter at a time dedicated to the next generation of each girl’s family. Homegoing spans 300 years, and yet despite the huge time period covered and the small amount of time dedicated to each member of the family, Gyasi still manages to craft each character with incredible depth and richness. Gyasi’s tale is one of family and slavery, the complicated roots and consequences of each, and the unwillingness of each to give way despite opposition.