Author(s): Cho Nam-Joo
The multi-million copy selling, international bestseller.
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 South Korean sensation that has got the whole world talking. The life story of one young woman born at the end of the twentieth century 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.
Longlisted for the National Book Award (Translated Literature)
Vulture Best Books of the Year (So Far)
A New York Times Editors Choice Selection
'Jiyoung is no raging feminist, rather a passive vessel, which makes her eventual breakdown all the more powerful, while the calm, matter-of-fact prose style adds to the reader’s growing sense of disquiet.' --Metro
'I loved this novel. Kim Jiyoung’s life is made to seem at once totally commonplace, and nightmarishly over-the-top. As you read, you constantly feel that revolutionary, electric shift, between commonplace and nightmarish. This kind of imaginative work is so important and so powerful. I hope this book sells a million more copies.' --Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot (shortlisted for The Women's Prize)
'To read the book is to imagine being a restive, aggrieved millennial and to trace her path through everyday misogyny.' --New York Review of Books
'Cho’s clinical prose is bolstered with figures and footnotes to illustrate how ordinary Jiyoung’s experience is.... When Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, was published in Korea in 2016, it was received as a cultural call to arms.... Like Bong Joon Ho’s Academy Award-winning film Parasite, which unleashed a debate about class disparities in South Korea, Cho’s novel was treated as a social treatise as much as a work of art.... The new, often subversive novels by Korean women, which have intersected with the rise of the #MeToo movement, are driving discussions beyond the literary world.' - Alexandra Alter, New York Times
'[Kim Jiyoung] laid bare my own Korean childhood ― and, let’s face it, my Western adulthood too ― forcing me to confront traumatic experiences that I’d tried to chalk up as nothing out of the ordinary. But then, my experiences are ordinary, as ordinary as the everyday horrors suffered by the book’s protagonist, Jiyoung. This novel is about the banality of the evil that is systemic misogyny. . . . Jiyoung, like Gregor Samsa, feels so overwhelmed by social expectations that there is no room for her in her own body; her only option is to become something ― or someone ― else.' - Euny Hong, New York Times Book Review
'Cho Nam-joo’s third novel has been hailed as giving voice to the unheard everywoman. . . . [Kim Jiyoung] has become both a touchstone for a conversation around feminism and gender and a lightning rod for anti-feminists who view the book as inciting misandry . . . [The book] has touched a nerve globally . . . The character of Kim Jiyoung can be seen as a sort of sacrifice: a protagonist who is broken in order to open up a channel for collective rage. 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.' - Sarah Shin, The Guardian