Dear Han Kang,
I read The Vegetarian two years ago and it still finds a way to creep back into my head—a place where it’s always welcome. I’ve reread The Vegetarian in its entirety. I’ve reread it in pieces. A little bit here and there, skipping around to read the best lines. I’ve placed it high on my favorite bookshelf so its presence in my home is always known. I would gush about it to anyone who would listen. I would shove its pretty red cover in the faces of anyone who would look.
I recently finished reading The White Book and I know, just like The Vegetarian, this one will also be stuck in my head. I keep it on the coffee table in my living room because I like the thought of having the book near me. I’ve never been one for the color white, but now I see it everywhere in ways I never have before. Its iciness reminds me of the dreamy, haunting words within your book and suddenly I’m filled with warmth.
Your books make me feel something in my heart that I can’t quite put into words. There are so many I could use to describe your genius, but how do I begin to explain how deeply your work has moved me? The horror of your stories comforts me. The somber beauty refuses to leave me. It awakens a melancholy within me that I’m at peace with and I can't thank you enough for that.
I read an interview where you said Kafka and Yi Sang and many other things have lived inside you. I think you live inside me, too. The way Yi Sang’s "I want to believe human beings should be plants” instilled a spark within you is how I feel about the entirety of The White Book. I’m obsessed.
And to Deborah Smith, I also can’t thank you enough for translating Han Kang’s books and making it possible for me to fall in love with them in my language. Your hard work has inspired a new interest in me—an interest about the complexities and nuances of language, the art of bringing art to people who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to consume it.
The two of you make a great team. It inspires me to see two amazing and talented women continue to work together so harmoniously.
I eagerly look forward to more.