|Published October 2007|
The Vegetarian is an intriguing and unsettling novel about mental illness, dreams, and of course, vegetarianism. Originally published in South Korea in 2007, The Vegetarian was adapted to the big screen in 2009 and screened at Sundance in 2010 (it was nominated for the festival's Grand Jury Prize). As for the novel, it starts very strong, but fades a little near the end. Things get weird and slightly gory during the second half of the story. The plot bogs down and my mind began to wander. Nevertheless, this novel, Han Kang's American debut (translated by Deborah Smith https://www.englishpen.org/pen-atlas/how-korean-it-is/), is worthwhile and completely original. Now, I'm anxious to see the big screen adaptation.
Below is a clip from the film via Youtube. Note, the film version is simply titled Vegetarian and the following scene does not include English subtitles. Viewer discretion is advised.