82년생 김지영
“사람들이 나보고 맘충이래.” 한국에서 여자로 살아가는 일 그 공포, 피로, 당황, 놀람, 혼란, 좌절의 연속에 대한 인생 현장 보고서 조남주 장편소설 『82년생 김지영』이 민음사 ‘오늘의 젊은 작가’ 시리즈로 출간되었다. 조남주 작가는 2011년, 지적 장애가 있는 한 소년의 재능이 발견되면서 벌어지는 사건을 통해 삶의 부조리를 현실적이면서도 따뜻하게 그려낸 작품 『귀를 귀울이면』으로 ‘문학동네소설상’을 받으며 데뷔했다. 시사 교양 프로그램에서 10년 동안 일한 방송 작가답게 서민들의 일상에서 발생하는 비극을 사실적이고 공감대 높은 스토리로 표현하는 데 특출 난 재능을 보이는 작가는 신작 『82년생 김지영』에서 30대를 살고 있는 한국 여성들의 보편적인 일상을 완벽하게 재현한다. 주인공 ‘김지영 씨’의 기억을 바탕으로 한 고백을 한 축으로, 고백을 뒷받침하는 각종 통계 자료와 기사들을 또 다른 축으로 삼는 이 소설은 1982년생 김지영 씨로 대변되는 ‘그녀’들의 인생 마디마디에 존재하는 성차별적 요소를 핍진하게 묘사한다. 이를 통해 작가는 제도적 성차별이 줄어든 시대의 보이지 않는 차별들이 어떻게 여성들의 삶을 제약하고 억압하는지 보여 준다. 여권이 신장된 시대, 그러나 여전히 ‘여성’이라는 조건이 굴레로 존재하는 사회에서 살아가는 한 여자의 인생을 다룬 『82년생 김지영』은 조용한 고백과 뜨거운 고발로 완성된 새로운 페미니즘 소설이자 수많은 사람들의 경험과 자료로 이루어진 ‘목소리 소설’이다. 맘충이, 여혐, 메갈리아 등 연일 새롭게 등장하는 페미니즘 화두를 관심 있게 지켜보는 독자라면 누구나 흥미롭게 읽을 수 있고 저마다 의미를 발견할 수 있을 것이다.

82년생 김지영 Details

Title82년생 김지영
Author
LanguageKorean
ReleaseOct 14th, 2016
Publisher민음사
Rating
GenreFiction, Feminism, Cultural, Asia, Novels, Literature, Asian Literature, Adult Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Adult

82년생 김지영 Review

  • Meike
    January 1, 1970
    This novella hit a nerve in South Korea and became one of the biggest-selling books of the new century. In it, Cho Nam-Joo tells the story of a Korean everywoman from her birth in 1982 until 2016, the year the book was published in its original Korean. Kim Ji-young experiences systemic misogyny in all stages of life, be it as a kid in her own family, in school and at university, in the workplace and also as a wife and mother. The protagonist does not only suffer because of stereotypical This novella hit a nerve in South Korea and became one of the biggest-selling books of the new century. In it, Cho Nam-Joo tells the story of a Korean everywoman from her birth in 1982 until 2016, the year the book was published in its original Korean. Kim Ji-young experiences systemic misogyny in all stages of life, be it as a kid in her own family, in school and at university, in the workplace and also as a wife and mother. The protagonist does not only suffer because of stereotypical women-hating machos (although they also feature in the text), but there's a whole web of factors, attitudes and implications that affect all characters differently, from the education system to the economic crisis, from conservative gender roles to questions of agency related to intersectional feminism. An overall feeling of powerlessness and internalized societal norms lead to self-alienation and to female trauma that is inherited over generations: When Kim Ji-young is born, her mother apologises to her mother-in-law for having a girl. When Kim Ji-young is pregnant with a girl, people feel sorry for her and try to cheer her up. Being a woman means being a failure. The book led to a fierce debate about sexism in Korea. Some months before its publication, the "Gangnam murder" shook up the country: A woman was murdered at a metro station, and the perpetrator stated that he had been ignored by women for so long that he could not stand it anymore. The hate crime heated up the #metoo movement in Korea, but there was also a huge backlash. Many K-Pop singers and other celebrities who professed to reading Cho Nam-Joo's feminist novella (which, as the author explained, is largely based on personal exprience) were attacked and threatened on the internet. When the book was turned into a movie, the actors and actresses got under attack. But Cho Nam-Joo has the numbers to back up her text, and she includes them in it - the book is written in a very particular, rather dry and detached style that includes studies and other research (the twist-ending reveals why, and the last sentence is vicious). The effect is harrowing - it is by largely denying empathy and stating the facts that the protagonist's dire situation becomes clear. Gender inequality in South Korea is ranked as one of the highest in the world, you can find some stats here. Similar to Han Kang in The Vegetarian, Cho Nam-Joo depicts a scenario in which other characters interpret the effects of degradation and lack of agency that the protagonist shows as mental illness - but it's worth contemplating whether those protagonists are sick, or whether the circumstances under which they have to live are sick.Very interesting and highly relevant, not only in South Korea. Here's the movie trailer with English subtitles.
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  • Pearl Ju
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a woman living in Korea, I recommend reading this book in your room alone with tissues because I am positive at least once you will show tears with sympathy. Due to unconscious sexual discrimination, women bear their own wounds in their memories. Although in Korean history, women work for a living, they were treated as a person who only did housework and men weren't willing to help any housework. It well describes the ordinary women's lives under the male-dominated society.
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  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.The premise of this book is great. It's vitally important too. I adore books that highlight ingrained sexism and the double standards that are forced upon women. But this was so dry! It felt I was being slapped over the head repeatedly with the issues. Which as I said great, but where was the feeling? The emotion? The book even used footnotes to back up the points on sexism it was making but instead of that adding a gravitas to the work it made it seem heavy handed. Simply too forced. And the main character of Kim Jiyoung. I get that she's written as an everywoman type character. That her story is the story of all women. But... I don't know. I wanted more emotion I guess. But then conversely the point of this novel is that women are forced to not be allowed to feel... Women are not allowed any freedoms... Women must only be one way. So I'm confused. I understand that this novel has been a major breakout hit in Korea and it is hoped that this English translation will highlight the cultural sexism that according to this book is rampant in Korea. So I wholeheartedly applaud the book and its important message to once and for all demand true and not symbolic equality. But as for a piece of moving literature, this for me doesn't work. I needed the narrative to be more nuanced with a little more grey rather than the full on black or white style of the storyline. three stars*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 follows the Korean woman of the title from her birth until the present day. We're introduced to Jiyoung in the present day where, at 33, she's hospitalised after having a breakdown, and the author then recounts her life story which gives us the background and context as to how this has happened.Cho Nam-Joo gives readers a heck of a lot of examples of incidents of institutionalised sexism and misogyny which have cumulatively impacted so greatly on Jiyoung and her psyche - Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 follows the Korean woman of the title from her birth until the present day. We're introduced to Jiyoung in the present day where, at 33, she's hospitalised after having a breakdown, and the author then recounts her life story which gives us the background and context as to how this has happened.Cho Nam-Joo gives readers a heck of a lot of examples of incidents of institutionalised sexism and misogyny which have cumulatively impacted so greatly on Jiyoung and her psyche - men are considered superior to women in almost every way in Korean society, and Jiyoung is subject to inappropriate behaviour from colleagues, teachers and fellow students, skipped over for promotions and settles into a life of domesticity, despite being a promising student at university and having no desire to quit her job to raise her daughter. While I wholeheartedly support the message behind this book - that the traditional patriarchal Korean society is having severe impacts on the mental health of women, even in the present day - the way it's presented doesn't make for a particularly great or overly engaging novel. The narrative is pretty much exclusively disconnected example after example of oppression Jiyoung faces - I've seen other readers describe it as list-like, enumerating the injustices women face in Korean (and global) society and I'd have to agree. I'm kind of on the fence with this one. While I'd impel readers to give it a go to gain an insight into the oppression women face in Korea, I'd give caution about the detached narrative style - which won't be for everyone.Thank you Netgalley and Simon and Schuster UK for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paul Fulcher
    January 1, 1970
    She said she’ll never forget how proud she felt when she presented a bouquet of flowers as a welcome-back present to one of her subordinates, who returned from a year-long childcare leave for the first time in the company’s history. ‘Who is she?’ Jiyoung asked. ‘She left a few months after that.’ 82년생 김지영 by 조남주published in 2016, was, and indeed still is, a publishing sensation in Korea, selling over a million copies, the first novel to do so since 엄마를 부탁해 (tr. Please Take Care of Mom), and She said she’ll never forget how proud she felt when she presented a bouquet of flowers as a welcome-back present to one of her subordinates, who returned from a year-long childcare leave for the first time in the company’s history. ‘Who is she?’ Jiyoung asked. ‘She left a few months after that.’ 82년생 김지영 by 조남주published in 2016, was, and indeed still is, a publishing sensation in Korea, selling over a million copies, the first novel to do so since 엄마를 부탁해 (tr. Please Take Care of Mom), and catalysing a national debate on sexism, particularly in the workplace. I read the novel the week that the fertility rate in Korea fell below 1, the lowest in the 36 countries measured in the OECD (see https://www.ft.com/content/16505438-c...)The English translation from Jamie Chang is due out next year (thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for the ARC). It will be interesting to see what UK/US readers make of it – it isn’t as feelgood or so universal as Please Take Care of Mom, and not as powerfully visceral and literary as The Vegetarian, the two big K-lit breakout novels to date, but an important book nevertheless. The novel opens in Autumn 2015, introducing us to Kim Jiyoung as she is now, and her mental breakdown (which has echoes of The Vegetarian), before returning to 1982 and her birth.Kim Jiyoung is thirty-three years old, thirty-four Korean age. She got married three years ago and had a daughter last year. She rents a small apartment on the outskirts of Seoul with her husband Jung Daehyun, thirty-six, and daughter Jung Jiwon. Daehyun works at a mid-size IT company, and Jiyoung used to work at a small marketing agency, which she left a few weeks before her due date.Jiyoung’s abnormal behaviour was first detected on 8 September. The novel then returns to 1982 and her birth taking us through her birth, childhood, education, entry into the workplace and marriage.The name Kim Jiyoung is intended to present an everywoman persona(I wrote the novel) to show women’s shared worries,” Cho said, pointing out that Kim Ji-young is ordinary in every way. There is nothing exceptional about the character.(from an interview in 2018 when the novel reached 1 million copies http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?u...)and the author has her protagonist pretty much experience every form of discrimination present in the society of the time, ranging from selective abortion of the 3rd child if the fetus was female and the family already had two girls (this went on throughout the 1980s and in the early 1990s, the very height of the male-to-female ratio imbalance, the ratio for the third child and beyond was over two-to-one.) through to spycams in the women’s toilets at work.If anything, Jiyoung’s generation suffered from coming of age while Korea was transitioning from a traditional society, with women staying at home, to a modern one, with women allowed and expected to build careers, but without support in the workplace allowing them to realistically do so: In 1999, the year [her elder sister] turned twenty, new legislation against gender discrimination was introduced, and in 2001, the year Kim Jiyoung turned twenty, the Ministry of Gender equality was formed. But in certain pivotal moments in women’s lives, the ‘woman’ stigma reared its head to obscure their vision, stay their hands and hold them back. The mixed signals were confusing and disconcerting. You will note the rather dry tone, and the use of facts and figures to back up Jiyoung’s story. Indeed the novel even – see the next quote – uses footnotes, given it at times a rather academic tone. One recurrent theme relates to maternity leave – and the fact that (as the opening quote suggests) it is or at least was almost unheard of for someone to return to work afterwards. Jiyoung’s female supervision, who features in the opening quote of my review, relates a story from a previous company: She spotted a pregnant woman in the company dining hall and asked the people at her table how long the company’s childcare leave was, and none of the five, including one department head, knew the answer because none of them had ever seen an employee go on childcare leave. She couldn’t picture herself at the company ten years down the road, resigned after some thought, and her boss grumbled, ‘This is why we don’t hire women.’She replied, ‘Women don’t stay because you make it impossible for us to stay.’The percentage of female employees who use childcare leave has increased from 20 per cent in 2003 to more than half in 2009, and four out of ten still work without childcare leave. [11] Of course, there are many women who have already left their jobs due to marriage, pregnancy or childbirth, and have not been included in the statistical sample of childcare leave. The percentage of female managers has also increased steadily but slightly from 10.22 per cent in 2006 to 18.37 per cent in 2014, but it’s not even two out of ten yet. [12]References:[11] Yun Jeonghye, ‘Current use of Parental leave and Its Implications’, Report on Employment Trends, July 2015. [12] 2015 Reports on Employment and Labor, Ministry of labor, pp. 83– 84.But it isn’t all dry – I loved this interview anecdote when three female graduates are interviewed together by a panel:The last question came from a middle-aged male trustee who’d been sitting at the end of the table and nodding without a word up until that point. ‘you’re at a meeting with a client company. The client gets, you know, handsy. Squeezing your shoulder, grazing your thigh. you know what I mean? yeah? How will you handle that situation? let’s start with Ms Kim Jiyoung.’ Jiyoung didn’t want to panic like an idiot or lose points by being too firm, so she shot for the middle. ‘I’ll find a natural way to leave the room. like going to the toilet or getting research data.’ The second interviewee asserted that it was clearly sexual harassment and that she would tell him to stop right away. If he didn’t, she would press charges. The male trustee raised an eyebrow and wrote something down, which made Jiyoung flinch. ‘I would check my outfit and attitude,’ said the final interviewee, who had had the longest to think of an answer, ‘to see if there were any problems with it, and fix anything that may have induced the inappropriate behaviour in the client.’ The second interviewee heaved an audible, baffled sigh. Jiyoung was chagrined by the answer, but regret set in as she thought the third woman’s answer probably got the most points, and hated herself for thinking that.Who got the job? ….. The male candidate of course!And much is redeemed by the powerful final section of the book, which explains the dry tone of the novel so far and what it is we have just read, as well as providing a rather devastating final line.Recommended.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Finished my very first novel completely in Korean! Definitely didn't understand every single word in the book, but the writing style was simple and straightforward enough that I could get by using context. (I'm probably going to go back and go through some of the parts that I didn't understand).Lots of different emotions while reading this:surprise when I recognized some of 김지영's experiences as my own/my mom'sanger at the number of times 김지영 was marginalized by her own familyfrustration/sadness Finished my very first novel completely in Korean! Definitely didn't understand every single word in the book, but the writing style was simple and straightforward enough that I could get by using context. (I'm probably going to go back and go through some of the parts that I didn't understand).Lots of different emotions while reading this:surprise when I recognized some of 김지영's experiences as my own/my mom'sanger at the number of times 김지영 was marginalized by her own familyfrustration/sadness every time 김지영 wanted to express her own thoughts and opinions but couldn't because she didn't want to cause a scene or she knew it wouldn't change anythingThe book also made me reflect on some of the things I'd accepted as "normal" that are really... not okay. (ex: a boy bullying a girl means that he likes her, and even though he made her cry and hate going to class, it's fine because he's just trying to get her attention). It's kind of sad that it took me this long to realize how strange that concept is. I think that all Koreans, especially Korean men, should read this. It is a sadly realistic portrayal of the life of a Korean woman (none of the women I talked to about the book was particularly surprised by the challenges the main character faced because they or another woman they knew had faced them) that needs to be realized and understood so that it can be changed.
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  • zaheerah
    January 1, 1970
    Through the eyes of her therapist, we follow the life of Kim Jiyoung as she experiences everyday sexism all from birth, youth and into her adulthood where she becomes a stay-at-home mother, and begins to unravel under pressure.Kim Jiyoung first came to my attention last year when a member of K-pop group Red Velvet, Irene, had recommended this book during a fan signing. I still remember the aftermath where many of her male fans cursed her, insulted her and even burnt pictures of her. Back then, a Through the eyes of her therapist, we follow the life of Kim Jiyoung as she experiences everyday sexism all from birth, youth and into her adulthood where she becomes a stay-at-home mother, and begins to unravel under pressure.Kim Jiyoung first came to my attention last year when a member of K-pop group Red Velvet, Irene, had recommended this book during a fan signing. I still remember the aftermath where many of her male fans cursed her, insulted her and even burnt pictures of her. Back then, a translation of the book did not exist, so when I found out it was being translated, I jumped at the opportunity to review one of South Korea’s best-selling feminist novels.Rather than a full-length novel, Kim Jiyoung is more of a series of anecdotes – a string of events that chronicles her life, with interspersing stories of the women around her, e.g. her mother, mother-in-law and sister. The style is very objective, and the tale integrates quantitative and historical data.The story is mainly set in Seoul, SK, but her experience is universal. Jiyoung realises from a young age that being a girl means something different, something less. She is served food last in her family, and if her siblings need to share, her younger brother is automatically given his own share while she shares with her sister. “He’s the youngest.””You mean he’s the son!” Just those two lines hit very close to home for me.The story follows select moments of her life that reflect that society she is in. From the schoolboys who tease her to the men who force her to an uncomfortable alcohol-laden dinner party, the everyday sexism she is forced to accept slowly takes a toll on her. This book is so simple in its concept, and the fact that it angered so many men does not surprise me. It holds a mirror to their privilege without actually calling them out, uncomfortable enough to make them uncomfortable. It lays down the facts and backs itself up, sending the message that hey this is what women are facing in Korea and it’s not okay. The story of Kim Jiyoung is full of silence but every bit powerful.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 is not the usual book that I read but, I was surprised of its content.The story tells of her birth to present day of a 33-year-old woman living in a Korea. How society belittle the female gender and treated men as the better, class even if the women the more intelligent one. From how the girls ate and clothed to how they treated when they went entered the workforce. I found this quite fascinating as I didn’t know much of the Korean way of life. Their life reminds me of a Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 is not the usual book that I read but, I was surprised of its content.The story tells of her birth to present day of a 33-year-old woman living in a Korea. How society belittle the female gender and treated men as the better, class even if the women the more intelligent one. From how the girls ate and clothed to how they treated when they went entered the workforce. I found this quite fascinating as I didn’t know much of the Korean way of life. Their life reminds me of a dystopian novel. Every part of their life was judged. It also made me angry because they didn’t have a choice in the matter. 4 stars from me.
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    This book is fiction, but anyone familiar with Korean society should recognize it as the actual lived experience of most Korean women. If you're already familiar with Korea (which should be most readers, since it's written in Korean), you'll find yourself saying "Yep..." a lot. The writing is pretty straightforward, however, and so I recommend it for intermediate to advanced level non-native speakers who want to understand Korean society better.
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  • thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
    January 1, 1970
    This is part novel, part autobiography or rather it feels that way as you read it, yes it’s fiction but it feels like you are reading someone’s life story, a wonderful insight into Korea and women’s lives in Korea, as a woman I found it difficult to read without getting angry, watching her worn down and losing her identity, but this happens everyday all over the world, it’s just more prevalent in some countries than others but it exists and happens everywhere. A fascinating and insightful read This is part novel, part autobiography or rather it feels that way as you read it, yes it’s fiction but it feels like you are reading someone’s life story, a wonderful insight into Korea and women’s lives in Korea, as a woman I found it difficult to read without getting angry, watching her worn down and losing her identity, but this happens everyday all over the world, it’s just more prevalent in some countries than others but it exists and happens everywhere. A fascinating and insightful read that draws parallels with the western world. Highly recommended Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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  • Chris Choy
    January 1, 1970
    The book itself is just a list of injustices that females face in the Korean society throughout the life of a fictional character. As the book is simply a list of events with little to no connections between them, I'm giving three stars and it is quite shallow. Rather, this book has a value as a whistleblower and I think all Korean male should probably read this to get to familiarize themselves with what injustices females face in their lives.I really like this types of books that challenge the The book itself is just a list of injustices that females face in the Korean society throughout the life of a fictional character. As the book is simply a list of events with little to no connections between them, I'm giving three stars and it is quite shallow. Rather, this book has a value as a whistleblower and I think all Korean male should probably read this to get to familiarize themselves with what injustices females face in their lives.I really like this types of books that challenge the established tradition and order as these books point out the fact that tradition and order are our collective imagination that is susceptible to change. As the Korean society modernizes and becomes a part of a global world, we realize that the patriarchal tradition that we hold so dearly is simply one lifestyle out of million and others value individual's happiness more than succumbing to societal pressure.We give life its meaning, not the other way around. Not society nor tradition gives its meaning and this book points out this from a specific group's perspective whose freedom has been suppressed by patriarchal tradition. However, this trend should not stop at the feminist movement. This should go on for people with disabilities and LGBTQ community, etc.
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  • Nashi
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so important. I'm glad it's a bestseller here and I really hope we soon see it published in English and other languages.Contextually relevant to the situation of women in S.Korea, in the end it transcends cultures and shows what every woman goes through regardless of her nationality. The writing style is simple but poignant. The story it tells is overwhelmingly sad. All the stars to 82년생 김지영.
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  • Zsófia Andrássy
    January 1, 1970
    3,5 *I liked most of this book. I really enjoyed reading about what it's like to grow up a woman in South Korea - as much as you can enjoy reading about a system that is so sexist towards women. This book is a great reminder that feminism is not real feminism if it is not intersectional and that we still have a lot to go to raise up women in every country. But even though I greatly enjoyed the parts in this book that take place in the characters past, and seeing how she grows up and what things 3,5 *I liked most of this book. I really enjoyed reading about what it's like to grow up a woman in South Korea - as much as you can enjoy reading about a system that is so sexist towards women. This book is a great reminder that feminism is not real feminism if it is not intersectional and that we still have a lot to go to raise up women in every country. But even though I greatly enjoyed the parts in this book that take place in the characters past, and seeing how she grows up and what things she has to ho through, I felt it lacked in some places. I think that if parts of Kim Jiyoung's adult life would have been different it could have worked better. I understand that it seeks to show the toil it takes on a woman to give up everything in her life just to form a family, but it felt underdevelopped. Because this is a very short novel, the psychological things don't really get explored and we never get closure. Maybe this was for the best, because it did make the book dynamic - you really can feel that the author is striving for change. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the situation of women in SoKo because even though this is fiction, there are many citations to real statistics in the book about the number of women in the workplace, how much money they make, etc. The way these data are integrated in the story may not be appealing to all, it feels almost info-dumpy, but I really appreaciated it, it mae it feel more serious, in a way. Plus as an English major seeing a book use proper citations is just satisfying to me. I wish this would have been longer and more psychologically detailed, but it is regardless an important and thought provoking book. Would recommend.
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  • Raven
    January 1, 1970
    read this book with an increasing sense of disbelief and anger, as Nam-Joo charts the life and experiences of Kim Yijoung, an ordinary woman of South Korea, struggling to exist in a hugely paternalistic and belittling society. Little wonder that this book has been such a touchstone in South Korea for women since its publication in 2016. Working as a mirror to society, the ordinariness of Kim’s existence from childhood to womanhood is delineated by the instances of sexism, chauvinism and read this book with an increasing sense of disbelief and anger, as Nam-Joo charts the life and experiences of Kim Yijoung, an ordinary woman of South Korea, struggling to exist in a hugely paternalistic and belittling society. Little wonder that this book has been such a touchstone in South Korea for women since its publication in 2016. Working as a mirror to society, the ordinariness of Kim’s existence from childhood to womanhood is delineated by the instances of sexism, chauvinism and subjugation that women endure in a society so completely controlled and dominated by the actions and needs of men, and the way that these needs, and their perceived ‘superiority’ are so routinely put before those of women. As a single Western woman with all the freedoms that this affords me, I felt myself growing increasingly enraged and frustrated by the denial of freedom and visibility of Kim herself. The writing is clipped and sharp where small explosions occur within the sedate pace of the book overall, and made all the more powerful for it. An eye-opening and necessary read.
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  • Em__Jay
    January 1, 1970
    Set in South Korea, KIM JIYOUNG, BORN 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, really paints a vivid picture of the myriad struggles women face simply because of their gender. The plight of women living in a male-dominated society will likely not be a surprise to many women readers, irrespective of where they live, but this fictionalised format still made me want to rage with anger and sadness. I was both infuriated and discouraged. The fictional narrative is supported with references from official reports and Set in South Korea, KIM JIYOUNG, BORN 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, really paints a vivid picture of the myriad struggles women face simply because of their gender. The plight of women living in a male-dominated society will likely not be a surprise to many women readers, irrespective of where they live, but this fictionalised format still made me want to rage with anger and sadness. I was both infuriated and discouraged. The fictional narrative is supported with references from official reports and studies. This might disengage some readers but I appreciated the foundation upon which the story was built. I believed what I was reading. This is by no means an uplifting read, but it is educational and stirring. I highly recommend it.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    A story of sexism and discrimination in Korean society. The short book follows a fictional female character from birth to motherhood highlighting issues faced by modern women in South Korea. It’s a quick and interesting read, and an insight into culture and society there. I would have preferred it more if it were a real life account I think. It was detached in the narrative, and I found the beginning and ending of the book quite strange. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind the type of A story of sexism and discrimination in Korean society. The short book follows a fictional female character from birth to motherhood highlighting issues faced by modern women in South Korea. It’s a quick and interesting read, and an insight into culture and society there. I would have preferred it more if it were a real life account I think. It was detached in the narrative, and I found the beginning and ending of the book quite strange. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind the type of depression she had - in the way she became different people. Also the therapist at the end didn’t really add anything to the story I felt, and just added to the general feeling of annoyance this book gave me. However it was an interesting and insightful shorter read. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my thoughts on this book.
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  • Clara Park
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 One of few times that I would recommend the movie remake of over the actual book. When broaching upon underlying social issues (like traditional gender norms), sometimes subtlety is key (letting the reader observe and make their own judgement without imposing a view onto them). The movie remake does exactly this. There were some lines in the book that I would rephrase but overall, the text captured what it means to be a women in Korea. This is the story of my mother, grandmother, aunts, and 4.5 One of few times that I would recommend the movie remake of over the actual book. When broaching upon underlying social issues (like traditional gender norms), sometimes subtlety is key (letting the reader observe and make their own judgement without imposing a view onto them). The movie remake does exactly this. There were some lines in the book that I would rephrase but overall, the text captured what it means to be a women in Korea. This is the story of my mother, grandmother, aunts, and (possibly) my future self.
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  • Neena
    January 1, 1970
    Frustrating, honest and brilliant. Starting with Kim Jiyoung being in a hospital at the age of 33, we are told the story of her life growing up in Korea, from a young age, through school, university, her first job and into motherhood. As we hear about her life, we learn about the society that literally breeds a sexist culture. You see how women’s thoughts and opinions are suppressed and disregarded and how all this has led to her hospitalisation. I mean, it’s a book of fiction, but it could Frustrating, honest and brilliant. Starting with Kim Jiyoung being in a hospital at the age of 33, we are told the story of her life growing up in Korea, from a young age, through school, university, her first job and into motherhood. As we hear about her life, we learn about the society that literally breeds a sexist culture. You see how women’s thoughts and opinions are suppressed and disregarded and how all this has led to her hospitalisation. I mean, it’s a book of fiction, but it could easily be a biography. This book is an eye opener. It’s intense but Kim Jiyoung isn’t written as an emotional character, in fact, I feel that Cho Nam-Joo has purposely done this and has let the actions and words of those around Kim Jiyoung speak for themselves. There is no need for deep and personal descriptions of feelings when the actions are that unbelievable that you sympathise immediately. I’d recommend this to every one. I read this in 2 sittings and would say it’s my favourite book I’ve read this year.
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  • Andrea Tome
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping and thought-provoking account of the everyday sexism the modern South Korean woman faces. Written in a detached and clinically cold style, this is an unmissable book for the new generation of women waking up to systematic oppression. Coupled with real statistics that showcase the injustices South Korean women face, this is an extremely powerful and enlightening narrative that will stay with me for a long time.
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  • Jiyeon Oh
    January 1, 1970
    Living as a woman, or in general, a woman in my country, South Korea, is not an easy job just how it is in other countries, too. The tacit expressions and words people show towards women are sometimes quite harsh. Through this book, you can see how and what the most of the women have gone through in mu country, and figure out the problems of the society that we live in and trust.This book shows the reality very well with the uncommon setting. This book is not a autobiography that the character Living as a woman, or in general, a woman in my country, South Korea, is not an easy job just how it is in other countries, too. The tacit expressions and words people show towards women are sometimes quite harsh. Through this book, you can see how and what the most of the women have gone through in mu country, and figure out the problems of the society that we live in and trust.This book shows the reality very well with the uncommon setting. This book is not a autobiography that the character in this book actually exists, but a fiction that is very much like a autobiography. It is written in a form of essay that her doctor writes based on what she tells the doctor. The things she tell are very common events that happen so often in my country, and this makes me out myself into her or her position. This so realistic events make me so much more involved and helps the author in conveying the intended messaged and feelings.As it should be, this book reveals the problems in the society as it is. All the problems and inequalities that I have experienced even as a child in an elementary school, and the inequalities and discrimination that women 'have to' go through as adults. The society doesn't offer the same opportunities. Women have less opportunities to get hire because they "don't continue to work as men do". Even if they get hired the still get paid less, and they actually need to 'prove' that they are capable of doing things that men can do. Also, by revealing the problems it makes people to be more involved in this issue and fight for what is right. And i like it very much that all these things are directly stated in the book.More importantly, this book not only reveals the problems but also makes people look back and face what they have done, and what is going on. Moreover, it helps women to realize the very common things that they didn't even care so much because they happen on daily basis are actually a part of gender inequality. We are forced to follow the pursued confinement because of our gender, both women and men. This breaks and destroys our society.I sincerely do not recommend this book to anyone except for those men and women who are ready to see how it's like. People who are looking for feminist books because it seems like a sort of 'trend' now definitely should not read this book, because it would not make them realize something very important. However, if you are a person who is ready to see, and accept the reality, then you should read this book and think about what to do.
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  • Sooyoun
    January 1, 1970
    Main character of this book is one year younger than me. And I am born and raise in Korea, that means a lot of her experience is very similar with my own.When I was young, I was young and naive like every other single human being so I didn’t even realize how many things are unfair even cruel.When I was growing up my grandmother used to tell me all the time whenever I made small mistakes “ How can you be this clumsy even you are woman???”- and of course my younger brother never hear it.Always I Main character of this book is one year younger than me. And I am born and raise in Korea, that means a lot of her experience is very similar with my own.When I was young, I was young and naive like every other single human being so I didn’t even realize how many things are unfair even cruel.When I was growing up my grandmother used to tell me all the time whenever I made small mistakes “ How can you be this clumsy even you are woman???”- and of course my younger brother never hear it.Always I had more house work and have to help my mom because i am woman, and they said I am such a good girl to doing so.I had countless experience about sexual abuse in Korea like in subway or bus someone’s touching. even when I was 14, i was in subway ride with my friend-not too many people and that was around 4 pm for reference-one strange old guy was upset to me because I was not nice enough to him-I cannot even remember how that start!! But he was stranger!!-and he start lecture to me and keep finger poking my chest area while he was talking.I said stop but no one listened.And how many times I’ve seen that random pervert’s private area in public?? Sometimes they were asking directions inside their car in street or just watching me from bushed near playground.Is that all happen because I was not careful enough??? Oh...I don’t think so.And they are always said I have to be sweet cute beautiful and nice polite girl. AND study hard to be successful women!! How can I be all this?? I am just one human.Also a lot of my friends growing up together who were very bright and smart now have kids. Some of them still working feel very guilty for their children because they can’t spend enough time with them but somehow their husband doesn’t feel that way.And some become housewife, curious about why they had to went through all that crazy education?- korea we were pretty crazy about our study when I growing up, I stayed school until 10 pm when I was high school. Start 7 am...Too many things I want to talk about this book, but i have to say this is very well written and make me feel that I am not alone.
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  • Yang
    January 1, 1970
    I'm younger than Kim Ji-young, I was born in a eastern country that treats woman better than Korea and I came to US in my early 20s where equality and feminists have a deep root and influence. Yet all the incidents happened to Kim and the related life choices she has made all sounds way too familiar to me. Feminist still have a long way to go. The following is what I've experienced, what I've seen. They are largely overlap with Kim's.1) Family: Girls just don't get as much opportunities and I'm younger than Kim Ji-young, I was born in a eastern country that treats woman better than Korea and I came to US in my early 20s where equality and feminists have a deep root and influence. Yet all the incidents happened to Kim and the related life choices she has made all sounds way too familiar to me. Feminist still have a long way to go. The following is what I've experienced, what I've seen. They are largely overlap with Kim's.1) Family: Girls just don't get as much opportunities and support from their families, even before they were born. They are considered, sometimes, a liability to the family. It's not uncommon in my growing up environment that abortion is chosen because of the gender. My parents get mocked because i'm the only kid in the family and I'm not a boy. In my extended family, I see same thing happens that family expected daughter to give up their education/life opportunities in exchange of getting short term financial gain and better opportunities for their brothers. 2) School: We are taught to behave like a girl in the school. What is that mean? What is behaving like a girl? It means behave nicely, warm, ladylike, polite, you sit and wait; Affirmative, direct, sporty, ask what you want, all sounds way too distance to describe a girl. And when you do that, you WILL get hushed and disapproval. Gradually I learned what's the expectation of being a girl, and try to fit into that role. I was a kid, lacking of independent thinking, and I took in what the school taught me.3) Career: Now, after graduation. I joined a male dominate industry, it's not uncommon to see myself as the only woman in a team. And I'm very used to it. We are trying to remove the gender bias, it still shows significantly on statistics and anecdotes around gender ratio, salary difference, lack of female leader, less opportunities and promotions.4) Society: Unfortunately, the victim blame is still very popular. Consciously or unconsciously, it is believed that when someone experience sexual harassment or rape, it must be the way they dress, the way they talk seduced the other party, and they should take the responsibility. As if it's not hard enough for people to come out and expose what tragedy happened to them. We as woman, still take more hit and career setback when having a baby. I'm also very aware of the Korean episode that hidden camera are wildly used in public restroom and hotel to film ladies and upload the film on internet. This shows great disrespect towards woman and these victims ends up being extremely humiliated. Because of the social expectation, we tied our hands and keep our move within a limited space than the other half of the population. Because of the gender bias, we are considered less capable and are given less opportunities to pursue the better life that we want to achieve. Sometimes, we have to make a choice within these limited opportunities and have to sacrifice something to earn another thing; Sometimes we fight back to get more opportunities, it takes so much energy that we are left with less energy to do more, to walk further; Sometimes, we are just tired of the unfairness, we let it gets us, we give in, so that we don't have to be a fighter all the time. I'm deeply disturbed by a sense of anger when I read this book, when I see the choice Kim made, and generations of women above her, powerlessly, lead them not able to achieve what they want, fulfill their potential and use their talents. We, as women, could go much further when we are not hindered by these mindsets and biases, when we are granted with equal opportunities as man. And I truly wish that day will come soon. The sooner the better.
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  • 0000000
    January 1, 1970
    This beautifully short book is everything. It is a startlingly accurate, unfiltered snapshot of the Korean everywoman. It is an elegant preamble for the Korean feminist manifesto that is yet to be written. The author is a virtuoso. If someone tasked me with compiling a new canon of modern Korean literature, this book would be my very first pick by quite some margin. I cannot wait to read whatever else Jo Namju has written. Yes, the language is extremely sparse given the heavy, uniformly This beautifully short book is everything. It is a startlingly accurate, unfiltered snapshot of the Korean everywoman. It is an elegant preamble for the Korean feminist manifesto that is yet to be written. The author is a virtuoso. If someone tasked me with compiling a new canon of modern Korean literature, this book would be my very first pick by quite some margin. I cannot wait to read whatever else Jo Namju has written. Yes, the language is extremely sparse given the heavy, uniformly infuriating pieces of information that the author chooses to relay about the typical life of an average Korean female during the past 5 or 6 decades, but that is by design. Had the sentences been stretched out enough to work through all the feelings readers are destined to have about the individual wrongs endured by women in Korean society over the last few generations, described ever so matter-of-factly in this text, this could never have been the compact yet comprehensive 190-page tour de force that it is, but would instead have quickly bubbled up like lava into a 190 volume encyclopedia set of casual erasure, disrespect, abuse, suffering, and lamentation. Ain't no one got time for that.As a Korean female living in the diaspora, I found exactly zero surprises in the plot, but that is the whole point. This is a story that all of us women know by heart but can't bring ourselves to share out loud. Still, it takes a writer of sublime powers and unfathomable restraint to edit the bulk of contemporary Korean female han(한) down to a svelte 190 pages. It makes one wonder if she made an actual deal with the devil. Whatever she did, it was worth it. Every Korean should read this book. Every last one.According to the World Bank, the population of South Korea was a bit under 52 million as of 2017. It is ludicrous that this book has not already sold over 100 million copies in the original Korean. Seriously, what are people reading if not this? Everyone needs a copy. It should be required reading in schools and publicly re-read on a monthly basis until the embarrassing issue of gender disparity in Korea is properly acknowledged and finally solved. Questions about this book should appear on every East Asian college entrance exam for at least the next century. Songs should be written about this book, and one of them should replace the national anthem. Everyone should have an extra copy on hand so as to gift it to anyone who needs one. Philanthropists should donate entire 8ft-tall bookcases of just this book to every subway library and motels that can't afford to put a copy in the nightstand should at least stock this book in their essentials vending machines alongside disposable toothbrushes and condoms. Korean federal taxes should set aside funds to provide an electronic copy of this book for every man, woman, child, and tourist who inhales so much as a single breath within the national borders. And on.
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  • Rachmi
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not familiar with story by South Korea author, before Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 I only read one book by South Korean, The Vegetarian by Han Kang. So I don't have high expectations for this book, despite I love The Vegetarian and so excited to read this one mainly because it caused huge commotion in its country. I'm curious. Indonesia is also a patriarchy country, just like South Korea and maybe most of the countries in the world. But I thought here isn't that bad. I couldn't be more wrong. I I'm not familiar with story by South Korea author, before Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 I only read one book by South Korean, The Vegetarian by Han Kang. So I don't have high expectations for this book, despite I love The Vegetarian and so excited to read this one mainly because it caused huge commotion in its country. I'm curious. Indonesia is also a patriarchy country, just like South Korea and maybe most of the countries in the world. But I thought here isn't that bad. I couldn't be more wrong. I may not live like Kim Ji-young, but I know another Kim Ji-young and in some way what she's been through eerily similar to what my friends told me. And there is one sentence that quite disturbed me because it's quite similar to what my mom once said to me. By the time I read second part of the book, I'm not sure how I should feel for Kim Ji-young and about the story. Yes, I'm sad for her but there is also nothing new. And the way the story is written is nothing special and a bit dry, I guess. It's like I read a bunch of newspapers what with those statistics about the difference treatment between female and male in any aspect of their lives.But then that's when I realized that it's so common that here is also as bad as there and maybe as the rest of the world. And as for the writing, maybe it's meant to be that way by the author. So that we reader get a sense that it also happens to us. No matter in which part of the world you live. Because at the end of the story I know Kim Ji-young is everywhere.Kim Ji-young is meKim Ji-young is my sister who is a-stay-at-home mom who used to work at the office but decided to resign to take care of her children.Kim Ji-young is my best friend who has high position at her office and is still have to support her brothers despite one of them is already married.Kim Ji-young is my friend at the office who is constantly asked why she hasn't had a child, despite already married for 3 years. She once told me that she and her husband decided to not have children, at least at the moment.Kim Ji-young is a pregnant woman on the news who got viral after another woman posted on her social media telling that she hates pregnant woman on public transportation.So I guess Kim Ji-young is us.
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  • Swati
    January 1, 1970
    Many books have been written about gender inequality and misogyny. But perhaps none in the style of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982. Cho Nam-Joo’s novel’s titular character’s name literally means Jane Doe in Korean, and it’s a powerful story about the place of women in South Korean society. Kim Jiyoung is an everywoman but one who dares to question the treatment meted out to her by men and women alike that serves to perpetrate the deep-rooted gender biases in South Korean society. Jiyoung’s description Many books have been written about gender inequality and misogyny. But perhaps none in the style of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982. Cho Nam-Joo’s novel’s titular character’s name literally means Jane Doe in Korean, and it’s a powerful story about the place of women in South Korean society. Kim Jiyoung is an everywoman but one who dares to question the treatment meted out to her by men and women alike that serves to perpetrate the deep-rooted gender biases in South Korean society. Jiyoung’s description of her childhood is a vivid picture of the ingrained preference for males. Her younger brother gets the best of the food made at home, and new clothes, toys, and books while the girls have to make do with hand-me-downs. The situation only becomes worse as Kim Jiyoung progresses through each stage of her life. I wouldn’t classify this book entirely as a novel. It felt like watching a docudrama, which is part fiction and part fact. Statements are backed up by references from various newspapers and other sources, which adds to the clinical feeling that pervades the book. But it doesn’t take away the small jolts of shock that you constantly receive at the extent of bigotry that is present in Korean society. Sure, women are dealt the bad hand all over the world but it’s only when you read about it in an intimate narrative such as this that it gets under your skin. By giving those links and references, Cho Nam-Joo shows just how real these problems are. For example, hidden camera pornography is such a widespread issue that the South Korean government had to crack down hard and threaten perpetrators with five years of jail time. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-4...I found the book to be unsettling, a feeling heightened by the realism that Cho Nam-Joo infuses with the journalistic slant. It’s a unique way of storytelling and I find that the blend served very well to highlight the issue at hand. A big thank you to NetGalley for giving me this copy for review!
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  • Charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    "Kim Jiyoung is thirty-three years old, thirty-four Korean age. She got married three years ago and had a daughter last year. She rents a small apartment on the outskirts of Seoul with her husband Jung Daehyan, thirty-six, and daughter Jung Jiwon." Kim Jiyoung is every Korean woman; she represents the experiences of generations- overlooked, undervalued and downtrodden. In a society where: female babies are a disappointment; brothers are fed first; provided a superior education; given their own "Kim Jiyoung is thirty-three years old, thirty-four Korean age. She got married three years ago and had a daughter last year. She rents a small apartment on the outskirts of Seoul with her husband Jung Daehyan, thirty-six, and daughter Jung Jiwon." Kim Jiyoung is every Korean woman; she represents the experiences of generations- overlooked, undervalued and downtrodden. In a society where: female babies are a disappointment; brothers are fed first; provided a superior education; given their own room; supported by the menial wages of female family members, Jyoung is just another casualty. In interview Cho Nam-Joo, explained, "Kim Ji-young's life isn't much different from the one I have lived." and perhaps that explains the detached and resigned delivery in which she fails to tip even the slightest emotional nod. Instead, her narrative reads more like a Wikipedia entry for the faceless woman on the book's cover. This is further enforced by passages listing historical facts and figures, for example, "In 1982, the year Jiyoung was born, 106.8 boys were born to 100 girls, and male birth ratio gradually increased, ending up with 116.5 boys born to 100 girls in 1990." I do not doubt that this tale needs to be told, nor that the 'noise' created around the book's publication and the impressive sales of more than a million copies by the end of 2018 isn't playing an important role in the world's awakening to events and the experiences of Korean citizens. But, as someone who has previously read factual books about their plight ( I recommend, 'Nothing to Envy' by Barbara Demick), what I was looking for was a heroine with whom I could sympathize and engage; drawing me into the heart of a family and enabling me to experience Korean life through her daily existence. Sadly, that is not what I found. Hopefully, the forthcoming film will address this issue and add the necessary warmth to Nam-Joo's dry delivery.
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  • Siobhan
    January 1, 1970
    Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is a novel about a normal South Korean woman and the reasons why she starts acting strangely. Jiyoung's life story isn't anything unusual: the second daughter born to a family who wanted a boy, made to share a room with her sister while her younger brother has his own, a good student tormented by boys and male teachers at school, goes to university but doesn't get put up for internships, and who is expected to give up everything else to become a mother. The book charts Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is a novel about a normal South Korean woman and the reasons why she starts acting strangely. Jiyoung's life story isn't anything unusual: the second daughter born to a family who wanted a boy, made to share a room with her sister while her younger brother has his own, a good student tormented by boys and male teachers at school, goes to university but doesn't get put up for internships, and who is expected to give up everything else to become a mother. The book charts that life, up until the present day when, with a young daughter and a husband, she seems to have a breakdown. What has caused this to happen to Kim Jiyoung, and is her story more than just one person's life?The novel is being marketed as a sensation in South Korea now translated into English, and it is clear why is so: this is a book that uses the story of one woman to look at misogyny and systematic oppression on a large scale, raising important points using the everyday details of life. The narrative is fast-paced and descriptive, going through the stages in Jiyoung's life and showing how they aren't exceptional, but also feel in many ways inevitable, even without knowing that she ends up a depressed mother. Society has given her certain paths to take, and even her fighting against the rigid walls of these paths is contained, decisions both hers and not hers at all. These themes aren't surprising, but the style of the narrative works to show how everyday it is and how it can wear women down.This is a short book that makes powerful points about the institutions that contain South Korean women, and indeed women all over the world, using the lens of one character and her relatively usual life. It is both an insight into one country's society and a reflection of many others, and it is clear why it has been so popular.
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  • Joe Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a sucker for translated fiction, particularly from/about East Asia, and after devouring Convenience Store Girl earlier this year, I’ve developed a particular fondness for short, direct and slightly quirky fiction. Given all this, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 seems perfect for me. A Korean bestseller about an ordinary Korean woman living in late 20th/early 21st century Korean society? I’m sold. The book itself does not disappoint. Set largely chronologically, the book tells Jiyoung’s story until I’m a sucker for translated fiction, particularly from/about East Asia, and after devouring Convenience Store Girl earlier this year, I’ve developed a particular fondness for short, direct and slightly quirky fiction. Given all this, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 seems perfect for me. A Korean bestseller about an ordinary Korean woman living in late 20th/early 21st century Korean society? I’m sold. The book itself does not disappoint. Set largely chronologically, the book tells Jiyoung’s story until her mid-30s, largely focussed on the issue of sexism and gender imbalance in Korea. From her role within her family (a younger brother always receives prominence due to their gender) to her time at school, in higher education, the workplace and in marriage and homemaking, its an eye-opening look at how gender defines so much of what’s available and expected of a person in Korean culture and society. Footnotes, used to reference statistics throughout, help to tell this story and make it feel incredibly real and powerful, despite being fiction. There do seem moments of progress throughout, but one of the real masterworks of the novel is the way that throughout progress seems to slowly, but surely, be made, until the concluding few chapters issue a gut punch which serve as a painful reminder of how much is left to change. Part of the joy comes from the fact that Jiyoung is a very ordinary woman. There’s nothing particularly extra special about her, her situation and her story, but as a window into another culture it’s a very powerful tale and drives home how commonplace many of these issues still are in society (worldwide). Would totally recommend as an eye-opening, very enjoyable and sharp novel, perfect for fans of Convenience Store Woman, that can be devoured in an afternoon, but left to consider for far longer.
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  • L. J. Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is detailed to be a bold look into a woman's life. How she lives, looks, experiences and generally just lives her existence throughout her journey is an intense reminder of how complicated a female's mere living of her daily routine truly can be. And sometimes, of how it can lead to your life entering a stranger path.The pure honesty in this novel is what caught my attention straight away. In fact, as soon as I read the description, I was oddly already hooked by the premise right This novel is detailed to be a bold look into a woman's life. How she lives, looks, experiences and generally just lives her existence throughout her journey is an intense reminder of how complicated a female's mere living of her daily routine truly can be. And sometimes, of how it can lead to your life entering a stranger path.The pure honesty in this novel is what caught my attention straight away. In fact, as soon as I read the description, I was oddly already hooked by the premise right away. It's a novel very much perfect for the times we live in. With raw truth and the tellings of a sad reality we exist in even in these modern times, this work is one that is going to leave you thinking after finishing reading it. In fact, I hardly wanted it to end I was that hooked from the first page.It's a raw look in a females living experience and how strange life is when you look back on your journey, growing up as a woman. And even though this book is set in South Korea, it shows that women around the world can feel the same pain as one another. This book, as we traveled through the main character JiYoung's life story, made me think about my own life journey up till this point and it was amazing how many moments we all can relate to in this story. And how you can understand the opening stance and how JiYoung descended to the path she did.It was a bold work, examining the modern female existence in every way and pointing out the true flaws in systems that need to be changed. Cho Nam-Joo fleshed out an amazingly bold yet refreshing novel here, with the characters and storyline keeping you from straying away from the page for even a minute before you are back and wanting to read more. Highly recommend this book!
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  • Fetri
    January 1, 1970
    This book tells about Ji-Yeong's struggle (or Ji-Young, depends on the publisher). It looks "usual or ordinary event" that may happen to lots of people especially women. When sometimes people judging woman because she is a woman. I know that everyone of human being has a different stress level, and sometimes I think, why this little event can make someone do the big thing? But, as a woman myself, I accepted that somehow we can think differently and everyone has their unique style to solve the This book tells about Ji-Yeong's struggle (or Ji-Young, depends on the publisher). It looks "usual or ordinary event" that may happen to lots of people especially women. When sometimes people judging woman because she is a woman. I know that everyone of human being has a different stress level, and sometimes I think, why this little event can make someone do the big thing? But, as a woman myself, I accepted that somehow we can think differently and everyone has their unique style to solve the problem. Social life also can give a courage or dig more deeper hole to yourself. With memories of Ji-Yeong's background, you can see how she struggle a lot, and people around her sometimes can act like a villain (without they even realize), so Ji-Yeong can't express her feelings and silence her voice then she became someone else to help herself. I read this book, but I think this book is not enough how to describe it well. Fortunately, there is korean movie that bring this book to be featured. With the same title and I watched it as well.The movie for me is like a continuation from the book, with some changing but is still describing how Ji-Yeong acts more than you can imagine from the book and how people, especially her husband react to her action.So, you must to watch the movie as well to know better. And the one who already watched, you should read this book to understand more about Ji-Yeong.This is a little movement of awareness about how to expressing your feeling and DON'T let a single human or even a factor to SILENCE YOUR VOICE. Because we are who we are.Ask for help if you have some struggle or know someone who need. :)
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