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Kyung-Sook Shin and Han Kang: Korean Translated Fiction Worth Reading

“Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin Great book but sometimes difficult to tell who is speaking. Strong start but was a less intense ending. Worth reading. I can imagine it’s even more beautiful to read in Korean. Rating: ★★★★

I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin

Her books always hit me hard. I lived in Seoul before so this book feels so real to me. This book is sad but also good. She is great at making stories that go slow, and slowly lift up the curtain in ways that surprise you. Like most of the books I’ve been reading lately, this one will bring you close to tears in the end. This book felt so real, I have a hard time believing that it’s not based on the author’s own experience of growing up in some way. This book captures the idealism, passion, and heartache of young lovers. This book will stay with me for a long while. Her book Please Look After Mom is also amazing. This book should have more than 4 stars. Come on people! Rating: ★★★★★

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

On the surface this book appears to be about a typical Korean family and a family member that decides to become a vegetarian. The situation quickly spirals out of control as the whole family is torn apart by this seemingly mundane decision. This story was very weird, and even erotic in parts. Worth a read! Rating: ★★★★

Human Acts by Han Kang

Her books always got you in the gut and this one is no different. You can’t forget the past, even if it’s difficult to remember. Reading this made me think about Taiwan’s 2-28 Massacre. These sorts of tragedies shape nations and souls. By reading this book, I hope I have brought a little honor and piece to those noble humans who were cut down way before their time. Rating: ★★★★★

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