The White Book

The White Book From the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian Both the most autobiographical and the most experimental book to date from South Korean master Han Kang Written while on a writ

  • Title: The White Book
  • Author: Han Kang
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 383
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • From the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian Both the most autobiographical and the most experimental book to date from South Korean master Han Kang Written while on a writer s residency in Warsaw, a city palpably scarred by the violence of the past, the narrator finds herself haunted by the story of her older sister, who died a mere two hoursFrom the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for The VegetarianBoth the most autobiographical and the most experimental book to date from South Korean master Han Kang Written while on a writer s residency in Warsaw, a city palpably scarred by the violence of the past, the narrator finds herself haunted by the story of her older sister, who died a mere two hours after birth A fragmented exploration of white things the swaddling bands that were also her shroud, the breast milk she did not live to drink, the blank page on which the narrator herself attempts to reconstruct the story unfold in a powerfully poetic distillation As she walks the unfamiliar, snow streaked streets, lined by buildings formerly obliterated in the Second World War, their identities blur and overlap as the narrator wonders, Can I give this life to you The White Book is a book like no other It is a meditation on a colour, on the tenacity and fragility of the human spirit, and our attempts to graft new life from the ashes of destruction photographs in print edition only

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      383 Han Kang
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      Posted by:Han Kang
      Published :2020-06-16T04:30:07+00:00

    About "Han Kang"

    1. Han Kang

      Han Kang is the daughter of novelist Han Seung won She was born in Kwangju and at the age of 10, moved to Suyuri which she speaks of affectionately in her work Greek Lessons in Seoul She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University She began her writing career when one of her poems was featured in the winter issue of the quarterly Literature and Society She made her official literary debut in the following year when her short story The Scarlet Anchor was the winning entry in the daily Seoul Shinmun spring literary contest Since then, she has gone on to win the Yi Sang Literary Prize 2005 , Today s Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award As of summer 2013, Han teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts while writing stories and novels.


    1. Music is often associated with memory. I often hear a song and I’m taken back to a time, to a place, to a person, to an experience that I never will be able to regain: to a moment that song embodies that will forever be lost in the endless river of life. For Han Kang the colour white has a similar effect; it mashes open the floodgates to her mind and drops torrents of memory over the body of her writing. "Why do old memories constantly drift to the surface?"Because they never leave us. Because [...]

    2. Hmm I don't know what to make of this book.It's elegant, in a minimalist, subdued kind of way. The font size is minuscule, there's a lot of white space and empty pages.There are some nice passages, but also a whole lot of simple, simplistic, and "I don't get the point" kind of writing - writing for the sake of writing, or better said, I was reading it and not getting much out of it, despite wanting to. I don't know - it's one of those "concept books". You definitely have to be in the right kind [...]

    3. "제발 죽지마. 한 시간쯤 더 흘러 아기는 죽었다. 죽은 아기를 가슴에 품고 모로 누워 그 몸이 점점 싸늘해지는 걸 견뎠다. 더이상 눈물이 흐르지 않았다.""For God's sake don't die. Around an hour later, the baby was dead. They lay there on the kitchen floor, my mother on her side with the dead baby clutched to her chest, feeling the cold gradually enter into the flesh, sinking through to the bone. No more crying. " Chapter 5 of 한강 (Han Kang's) [...]

    4. It’s been thrilling to see the recent high acclaim and popularity for Han Kang’s powerful distinctive writing. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2016 for “The Vegetarian” and her novel “Human Acts” is one of the most devastating portrayals of the victims and survivors of mass warfare that I’ve read. Even though she’s been publishing fiction in her native South Korea since 1995, Kang’s writing has only recently been made widely available to a Western audience through [...]

    5. Han Kang and Deborah Smith are a match made in heaven. I feel its genius every time I finish reading any of Kang's books in Smith's translation. This one is a very special to me. The City she refers to in White Book, is my hometown, Warsaw. The book at its core is a meditation on grief. Kang juxtaposes City surrounded by neverending grief after thousands of its inhabitants were killed during Warsaw uprising and herself grieving after a sister, who died two hours after birth.Kang has been said to [...]

    6. In the spring, when I decided to write about white things the first thing I did was to make a list. Swaddling bands. Newborn gown. Salt. Snow. Ice. Moon. Rice. Waves. Yulan. White bird. “Laughing Whitely”. Blank paper. White dog. White hair. Shroud. With each item I wrote down, a ripple of agitation ran through me. I felt that yes, I needed to write this book, and that the process of writing it would be transformative, would itself transform, into something like white ointment applied to a s [...]

    7. The White Book has often been described to me as ‘musings on the color white’, resembling Maggie Nelson’s “Bluets” in the way it bends and defines genres. Somewhere between essays, flash-fiction, and poetry in form; with contents of both personal and beautiful nature. The White Book opens with a list of white things, and goes on from there to become short passages on one white thing to another, expanding on what the color resembles and mirrors, as well as what it symbolizes and what me [...]

    8. The comparisons to Maggie Nelson's Bluets will be pretty inevitable and unsurprising but here it is: this reminded me of Bluets. Although, that's only in terms of its form. It's a novel (?) written in fragments and unified thematically by meditation on the colour white. While I read it as a novel, and not a memoir or a book of poems, it plays with that cross-pollination of genre. Some reviews have taken the details of Han Kang's life to take it as red that this is very much a memoir, but using d [...]

    9. Having loved The Vegetarian, I knew I needed to read this and finally got my mitts on it recently! And what a reading experience it was once more! Who knew that the subject of such simple white things - lace curtains, sugar cubes, rice, clouds to name but a few, could conjure up such powerful images when written about so wonderfully by this author!It covers a wide range of emotions and topics that captures the spectrum from life to death, feelings, humanity and more. I found it to be such a calm [...]

    10. Aangrijpende poëtische mijmeringen over de dood en verlies. Vorm en inhoud zijn één met een bestendig zo goed als lege bladspiegel en veel witte bladzijden: de hoofdstukjes bestaan uit enkele paragrafen en een nieuw hoofdstukje start telkens op de rechterbladzijde. De mooie beelden sporen wel aan om ander werk van Kang te gaan lezen. Heel jammer dat deze vertaling op de Engelse vertaling is gebaseerd (en niet op het origineel) en dat de foto's uit de Koreaanse editie hier niet zijn opgenomen. [...]

    11. A fragile thing of beauty. Gossamer light. Not brittle by any means, but slight all the same, oh so slight, which is why I gave it 4 stars rather than the full complement as with her previous 2 books. Size may not be everything, but it does count for something. Impressions, images, metaphors inspired by the colour white. Clouds, snow, white yulan flowers, the white fur of a dog, swaddling cloth and cere sheets/ burial shrouds, especially when the swaddling cloth is converted into a cere sheet fo [...]

    12. Han Kang’s previous novels that have been translated into English have this way of not looking at their central character or message too directly, and she circles around them, showing you different perspectives on them. This novel/non-fiction/poetry/whatever short book does do that, but also feels much more direct and personal than her other work. It’s also more experimental, so probably won’t be for everyone, but I loved it. It’s a fragmented meditation on the colour white, without a cl [...]

    13. Problems Putting Performance Art Stills into a NovelThis is a brief book with a number of blank pages and seven photographs. The narrator thinks about a sister she never knew (the sister died the day she was born). The narrator imagines her sister by thinking about white objects (snow, lace, paper, ice). The prose poems average about a half-page each, so the book is full of white spaces.Two different comments: first on the book's images, then on its narrative.1. The imagesTerry Pitts has written [...]

    14. Beautiful, sad and touching with all the grace of honest words and stark pages. The White Book by Han Kang (author of Man Booker International Prize winner, The Vegetarian) is the latest book to be translated into English. When I saw this beautiful book and read about how it was a really experimental and autobiographical piece of work I had to have it. The pages show photos and art from her own view as well as honest short pieces of writing about objects or past moments of her life. It's a fanta [...]

    15. 3.5This was a heartbreaking and powerful read, but the second part was, in my opinion, not as well constructed and accomplished. I see where the author was going with it, but it didn't feel as strong as the first and third sections.

    16. Weisse. Leere. Bedeutung.Die Bücher von Han Kang hatten für mich schon immer etwas sehr faszinierendes, mitfühlendes. Doch mit "The White Book" ist es der Autorin nun endgültig gelungen, die menschliche Zerbrechlichkeit, die extreme Feinfühligkeit und das Dasein in wenigen Worten perfekt wiederzugeben. In kurzen Essays, Gedichten und Überlegungen werden in diesem Buch Dinge erfasst, die wir zu schnell vergessen oder übersehen. Selten gibt es auch Ausgaben von Texten, die in ihrem Inhalt u [...]

    17. No other word beyond 'beautiful' comes to mind as I reflect on this book. Up there with Gratitude by Oliver Sacks, and The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller, The White Book is in a class of 'small books' that are so incredibly rich, profound, and mysterious that they deserve multiple readings over a lifetime.Meditations on metaphors, stories, philosophies, and musings to do with the color 'white' may seem shallow at face value, but within these pages (with a layout designed so intentio [...]

    18. O branco são todas as coresA coreana Han Kang chamou a atenção do mundo e caiu nas graças da comunidade literária em 2016 quando seu THE VEGETARIAN (no Brasil, A Vegetariana, e esgotado) ganhou o International Man Booker Prize. O romance sobre uma mulher que se recusa a comer carne, e, mais tarde, quer se transformar numa árvore é poderoso, com uma prosa cirúrgica e uma investigação precisa sobre a relação entre escolhas pessoais e expectativas sociais. THE WHITE BOOK – ambos tradu [...]

    19. A suprsingly poetic collection of thoughts, musings and memories that reflects on life, death and everything in between. The colour of white could be pure, fragile, cold and emotionless, but Hang Kangs's little impressions are haunting, atmospheric and evocative. I just found the black and white photos scattered here and there in the book too detached and not delicate enough. Even surgical.WaveIn the distance, the surface of the water bulgesupwards. The winter sea mounts its approach, surging cl [...]

    20. ‘The White Book’ is the haunting story of the narrator’s stay at Warsaw- a city with a violent past. While making out in this broken city, the narrator is reminded of her elder sister, who died after two hours of being born. Every white thing, that she encounters, brings alive the ghost of her sister.The author begins by providing a list of white things. Then she goes on to tell her story by focusing on each the things in the list. She tells her story & that of her sister, in parts. Sh [...]

    21. It is incredibly hard to describe what I felt while reading this book. To put it simply: there was a clump in my throat and I felt I needed to cry. The feeling continued through the whole book and now that I have finished it, I feel there is an enormous sea of melancholy inside me. The White Book is an odd tiny novel, filled with meditations on colour white, death and pain. Even though its' size makes it seem like a easy book to go through, I couldn't read for a long time. I wanted to devour eve [...]

    22. 'Writing a book, so some lost one could live forever.' It is the main concept Han Kang tells about her pre-born sister who died after a few hours given the birth. The incident triggers her to think about the alternate reality of what her sister's life and hers could have been. It's similar to a memoir in both prose and poem style, entitled in the theme of whiteness to explore the fragility and burden of life, and the blankness of death. This book is quite a metaphysics of death and birth, not in [...]

    23. Thinking it similar to Bluets, I had to read this book. Han Kang'sHuman Actshad already pleasantly surprised me. Sad to say, I feel somewhat unmoved. The fragments, inspired by white objects/subjects, at times feel quite unsatisfying, shallow, and, dare I say, leaning towards cliché. Her musings can be poignant and stark, but overal the language is neither strong nor distinct enough to open the reader's mouth in sheer mesmerisation, to hook itself there. To reel in. There is depth to this story [...]

    24. If white inspires you, then whatever you do, don’t look at the neighbours nets. Seriously, this book affected me and I'm like a stone goblin.

    25. Han Kang's latest work is a lot more experimental that I had expected and the form just did not work for me.I was expecting that it would be as magical and biting as The Vegetarian in terms of how the narrative would be constructed, but The White Book is quite different. The White Book is written like a list with a series of entries and thoughts about them. Each entry bears the name of a thing that is white in colour and that Han Kang has associated with a particularly sad event. Why white? Prim [...]

    26. Review can also be found at Snow White Hates Apples.Never have I felt such great existential crisis while reading a book than I did with The White Book by Han Kang.This book is a fragmented exploration of white things that is filled with symbolism and metaphors, providing several layers of meanings that makes it all the more poignant and beautiful. At the beginning, the aforementioned fragmented exploration is a part of the narrator’s rituals of mourning and remembering her older sister who di [...]

    27. I really loved The Vegetarian, so I was super intrigued by The White Book. It’s a series of short meditations and poems about family pain and loss and memory, explored through whiteness. This style of book is very much my up my alley. Each thought and poem seems a bit sporadic and episodic, with nuggets of genius hidden on each page, however the whole book reads a cohesive collection of meanderings on suffering and redemption.

    28. Han Kang vertelt, verwerkt, beschrijft het verlies van haar zus en dit via de kleur witEen heel mooi boek dat met zorg gelezen mag worden, met schitterende rake zinnen waar de nood aan rust, stilte, het verdriet zomaar voelbaar door de pagina's schemerenEcht heel mooi!tzumfo/2018/01/undergr

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