Women In Translation: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo trans by Jamie Chang

My father was stationed in South Korea at the end of the Korean War. To this day he still has a love of Kimchi. Which has been passed on to me. He didn’t really talk about what South Korea was like when he was there. Most of what I know are from books, TV shows and movies. If you didn’t know South Korea has an absolutely amazing horror movie culture. My favorite horror movie is a South Korean horror movie called Train to Busan. But I don’t really know a lot about the culture. I don’t listen to K-Pop or watch K-Drama. So when my hold for this amazing little book came up I immediately went to the library and picked it up. FYI…there are sources for much of the information and statistics in the book. Which is super interesting.

Synopsis: A women starts speaking in voices and phrases from dead and living women.

What I liked: This little book holds so much information about how women are treated in South Korea. There are tons of footnotes in the book with sources regarding the statistics that are being presented. Nam-Joo weaves the non-fiction aspect of the story with non-fiction aspects seamlessly. The book is only 162 pages. But there is A LOT of story in those pages. The story covers the main character early years and follows her through to her marriage and having a child. Nam-Joo is able to pack the story in. There is no lag. I never felt like anything was just filler. It all had a purpose and intention. The pacing is perfect.

What I didn’t like: There isn’t anything that I didn’t like.

Star Rating: 4

My Thoughts: I had thoughts. I was mad. I was pissed that women are still putting up with the same bullshit that our grandmothers have. That a the main character was so lost in who she was that she started doing the things that she was (yes cryptic I know but I don’t want to spoil the book). I am enraged that much of this behavior is still happening all over the world. So I was pissed when I finished this book. But it wasn’t the story that pissed me off. It is that there was no accountability in the story for the bad things that happened. I want to shove this little book into so many people’s hands. Now, I do want to say that it isn’t Horror, however, I found many of the things that happened horrific. I also find that the behavior that Nam-Joo mentioned in this book is being normalized is horrific.

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