Human Acts

Han Kang

Published: 3 November 2016
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781846275975

Other Editions

Trade Paperback

Image of

Published: 7 January 2016
Trade Paperback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781846275968

Ebook Available

Translated by Deborah Smith


Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend's corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalised country searches for a voice. In a sequence of interconnected chapters the victims and the bereaved encounter censorship, denial, forgiveness and the echoing agony of the original trauma.

Human Acts is a universal book, utterly modern and profoundly timeless. Already a controversial bestseller and award-winning book in Korea, it confirms Han Kang as a writer of immense importance.

About the author

Image of Han Kang

Han Kang was born in Gwangju, South Korea, and moved to Seoul at the age of ten. She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University. The Vegetarian (Portobello Books, 2015), her first novel to be translated into English, won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. Human Acts, her second novel to be published in English (Portobello Books, 2016), won the Manhae Literary Award. Her writing has also won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today's Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award. She currently teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. More about the author


Human Acts is a stunning piece of work. The language is poetic, immediate, and brutal. Han Kang has again proved herself to be a deft artist of storytelling and imagery’ Jess Richards, author



‘A conversation of which we rarely hear both sides: the living talking to the dead, and the dead speaking back

‘An important and necessary book... a devastating and vital a work of literature’ Lucy Scholes

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