All In Good Storytime

category: Literature

Page Eighteen--Warmth


In the 18th episode of All in Good Storytime, we finish reading Human Acts by Han Kang, as translated by Deborah Smith. These last three chapters centered on Seon-ju's time as a factory worker, how Dong-ho's mother carried on with her grief, and Han Kang's personal connection to Dong-ho and the Gwangju Uprising. We continue discussing the far-reaching ramifications of grief and trauma and share our thoughts on how the chapter focusing on Dong-ho's mother was arguably the saddest one in the book. Finally, we discuss the pervasive question surrounding bodies, and what exactly it means to be human, that is evident in the book. We do this by examining Seon-ju's relationship to her body following her torture, what the prisoner believes his captors were trying to accomplish with their abuse, and how Jeong-dae's spirit was only set free once his connection to his body was destroyed. We end by sharing our final thoughts on the book and its effectiveness in communicating a powerful story about a painful past.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains discussions of torture and sexual violence.

Next week, we will begin reading chapters 1-6 of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.


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