Human Acts, Han Kang


Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend’s corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalized country searches for a voice.

One of the most touching and thought-provoking novels I have ever read.

Through this novel we live the Korean war through the eyes and experiences of six different people whose lives are all intertwined. We start with a young boy named Dong-Ho who’s ghost travels through each chapter and who’s soul touches each character and end with the boys bereaved mother.

A short novel with an autobiographical touch examining the way humanity prevails through violence even at its most suppressed times. There is an echo of trauma and anger throughout the novel especially after the end of the war which the author illustrates perfectly with gut wrenching mental images, disturbing flashbacks and emotional unease. Through…

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