by Nam-Joo, Cho, Chang, Jamie | Fiction & related items
Published 21/01/2021 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (Scribner UK) in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 176 pages
Kim Jiyoung is a girl born to a mother whose in-laws wanted a boy. Kim Jiyoung is a sister made to share a room while her brother gets one of his own. Kim Jiyoung is a female preyed upon by male teachers at school.
Kim Jiyoung is a daughter whose father blames her when she is harassed late at night. Kim Jiyoung is a good student who doesn’t get put forward for internships. Kim Jiyoung is a model employee but gets overlooked for promotion.
Kim Jiyoung is a wife who gives up her career and independence for a life of domesticity. Kim Jiyoung has started acting strangely. Kim Jiyoung is depressed.
Kim Jiyoung is mad. Kim Jiyoung is her own woman. Kim Jiyoung is every woman.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is the life story of one young woman born at the end of the twentieth century and raises questions about endemic misogyny and institutional oppression that are relevant to us all. Riveting, original and uncompromising, this is the most important book to have emerged from South Korea since Han Kang’s The Vegetarian. Praise for Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 ‘It describes experiences that will be recognisable everywhere.
It’s slim, unadorned narrative distils a lifetime’s iniquities into a sharp punch.’ The Sunday Times ‘A ground-breaking work of feminist fiction’ Stylist ‘Along with other socially critical narratives to come out of Korea, such as Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning film Parasite, her story could change the bigger one.’ TheGuardian ‘This witty, disturbing book deals with sexism, mental health issues and the hypocrisy of a country where young women are “popping caffeine pills and turning jaundiced” as they slave away in factories helping to fund higher education for male siblings.’ The Independent ‘Enthralling and enraging.’ Sunday Express ‘Cho’s moving, witty and powerful novel forces us to face our reality, in which one woman is seen, pretty much, as interchangeable with any other. There’s a logic to Kim Jiyoung’s shape-shifting: she could be anybody.’ Daily Telegraph