The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Author:Han Kang
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Published: 2016-02-01T16:00:00+00:00

She stands and looks out at the rain-swept road. She is at the bus stop across from Maseok terminal. Huge goods vans thunder past, speeding along in the fast lane. The raindrops drum against her umbrella, so forcefully it seems they might rip through the material.

She isn’t really young anymore, and it would be difficult to call her a beauty, exactly. The curve of her neck is quite attractive and the look in her eyes is open and friendly. She wears light, natural-looking makeup, and her white blouse is neat, uncreased. Thanks to that smart impression, which one might reasonably expect to attract curiosity, attention is deflected away from the faint shadows clouding her face.

Her eyes glimmer briefly; the bus she has been waiting for has appeared in the distance. She steps down into the road. She watches as the bus, which had been tearing along at a great pace, slows down.

“You’re going to Ch’ukseong Psychiatric Hospital, right?”

The bus driver, in late middle age, nods to her and motions her up. She pays the fare, and as she scans the bus for somewhere to sit her eyes pass over the faces of the other passengers. They are all watching her closely. Is she a patient, or is she a nurse? There doesn’t seem to be anything odd about her. Well used to this, she keeps her eyes averted from those probing gazes, that mix of suspicion, caution, repugnance and curiosity.

She shakes the water off her folded umbrella. The floor of the bus is already wet, black and glistening. It wasn’t the kind of rain for which an umbrella could provide sufficient shelter, and so her blouse and trousers are half soaked. The bus picks up speed, racing along the wet road. She struggles to keep her balance as she walks down the aisle. Finding a double seat where both spaces are unoccupied, she takes the one next to the window. The windows have steamed up, so she gets a tissue out of her bag and wipes a patch clear. She watches the streaks of rain lashing the window, with the untouched steadiness unique to those accustomed to solitude. As they reach Maseok, the late-June woods begin to unfurl on either side of the road. There is something battened down about the woods in this torrential rain, like a huge animal suppressing a roar. As it turns up the road to Ch’ukseong mountain, the road gradually narrows and becomes winding, bringing the wet body of the woods undulating nearer. The base of that mountain over there—might those be the woods where, three months ago, her sister, Yeong-hye, had been found? One by one, the black spaces between the trees, concealed by the shaking canopy of rain-lashed leaves, pass in front of her eyes. She turns away from the window.

The hospital staff told her that Yeong-hye had gone missing sometime during the hour that was set aside for the patients to take brief, unaccompanied walks—between two and three in the afternoon. This



Download



Copyright Disclaimer:
This site does not store any files on its server. We only index and link to content provided by other sites. Please contact the content providers to delete copyright contents if any and email us, we'll remove relevant links or contents immediately.
Web Analytics