400 short stories: story 303

story: “The Fruit of My Woman”

author: Han Kang

year: 1997

where: Post- mapo dofu; Abu Dhabi.

note: “Han Kang wrote this story in 1997, and it is in many ways a direct precursor to her 2007 novel The Vegetarian – in both, a married couple in their early thirties find their hitherto uneventful lives turned upside down when the woman starts to undergo a transformation.” From Granta.

& While I was in Lebanon for a conference this spring, I looked up from the campus of LAU and saw trees growing on the balconies of the apartments nearby.

a line: “The bruises that had been the size of a newborn’s fist the previous spring were now more like large taro leaves. On top of that, they’d darkened. They were the dull colour of a weeping willow’s branches, whose pale green seems tinged with a hint of blue at the onset of summer.”

& “Every time I questioned whether this woman really had any right to cause me such loneliness, I felt as though my whole being was flooded with a boundless abhorrence, isolating me like a layer of old dust.”

theme(s): Marriage, transformation, desire, nature

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