(5 / 5) – Completes Me!
There are books in the world that you read because you know it is a beautiful book even as it tells the horrors of humanity’s worst atrocities. “Human Acts” by Han Kang is just this sort of book. It should be read. It needs to be read. It will grip your soul and haunt your dreams and your conscience.
“Human Acts” is the story of the Gwangju uprising in South Korea in the early 1980’s. It is a moment in history that too few of us have any knowledge of, much less understand the cultural context, implications or continued aftermath of this violent suppression. Kang offers a world into the atrocities committed through a variety of characters and interactions, each standing alone, yet deeply woven one to the other.
There is a beauty of writing, a poetic sensibility that scrapes at the reader’s soul as you consume the words of the worst of human atrocities committed against a city rising up to be heard. It is a short work of powerful language, imagery and truths. This book was recommended by two of the book vloggers I follow on YouTube and I am so grateful I picked it up. It is a moving piece of literature that will linger in my conscience for years to come. It is not a book to read lightly, but with reverence and compassion.