Book Review | The White Book by Han Kang

39220683The White Book is a book of poetry and prose, exploring mourning, rebirth, and the human spirit. It’s a mediation on colour, a presentation of photography, and an investigation into human life. Translated by Deborah Smith. 

The White Book is an unusual book because it’s not really a ‘book’… or a ‘book of poetry’, either. It’s a collection of experimentation, a kind of therapy put onto paper if you’d like.

Let’s just start by saying that, despite whatever I say from here on, I did really like this book. It wasn’t entirely what I was expecting, but that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing!

I feel like this book is very biographical. It talks a lot about Han Kang’s mourning for her lost siblings, for her mother and father, and for her life before. It takes place predominantly when she is living away from home and I think that this really gave us an interesting scope from which to look from, as both us and the author were looking at her home from outsider lenses, as Han Kang finally looked back at her past.

It’s quite short – many of the pages are just blank and some of the writings are quite short, so it’s really quick and easy to get through too.

This book is, mostly, fascinating. It’s writing for the sake of writing – some people might like this, and some don’t. It’s therapy writing, and going through a lot of grief myself so far this year, I really connected with some of her writing. However… it’s a book that I forgot very quickly. I guess that gives me an excuse to read it again soon!

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads
Source: bought from Waterstone’s


If you liked this, you might also like…. Standing Female Nude by Carol Ann Duffy

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