The White Book | Granta

  • Published: 05/04/2018
  • ISBN: 9781846276958
  • 130x20mm
  • 128 pages

The White Book

Han Kang

Translated by Deborah Smith

Shortlisted for the Man Booker International 2018
From the author of The Vegetarian, winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2016

From the author of The Vegetarian and Human Acts comes a book like no other. The White Book is a meditation on colour, beginning with a list of white things. It is a book about mourning, rebirth and the tenacity of the human spirit. It is a stunning investigation of the fragility, beauty and strangeness of life.

Translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith.

A brilliant psychogeography of grief, moving as it does between place, history and memory... Poised and never flinches from serene dignity... The White Book is a mysterious text, perhaps in part a secular prayer book... Translated seamlessly by Smith, The White Book succeeds in reflecting Han's urgent desire to transcend pain with language

Deborah Levy, Guardian

Wonderful. A quietly gripping contemplation on life, death and the existential impact of those who have gone before

Eimear McBride

The White Book is a profound and precious thing, its language achingly intimate, each image haunting and true. It is a remarkable achievement. Han Kang is a genius

Lisa McInerney

The Author

Han Kang was born in Gwangju, South Korea, and moved to Seoul at the age of ten. She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University. Her writing has won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today’s Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, was published by Portobello Books in 2015 and won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. She is also the author of Human Acts (Portobello, 2016) and The White Book (Portobello, forthcoming 2017). She is based in Seoul.

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The Translator

Deborah Smith‘s translations from the Korean include two novels by Han Kang, The Vegetarian and Human Acts, and two by Bae Suah, A Greater Music and Recitation. In 2015 Deborah completed a PhD at SOAS on contemporary Korean literature and founded Tilted Axis Press. In 2016 she won the Arts Foundation Award for Literary Translation. She tweets as @londonkoreanist. Tilted Axis’ first titles includes a darkly erotic Bengali novella, an obliquely allegorical take on South Korea’s social minorities, and a feminist, environmentalist narrative poem from Indonesia, published as a ‘sight-impaired-accessible’ art book. These will be followed by translations from Thai, Uzbek, and Japanese.

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From the Same Author

Han Kang on Granta.com

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White | State of Mind

Han Kang

‘I was told that she was a girl, with a face as white as a crescent-moon rice cake.’ New writing from Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith.

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Han Kang visited the Granta offices to discuss her book Human Acts.

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‘It was late May when I first saw the bruises on my wife’s body.’