Saturday 27 January 2024

Book Review: Another Person by Kang Hwa-gil (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: Another Person
Author: Kang Hwa-gil
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date: 23 July 2024 (2017)
Pages: 304
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

Vacuum cleaner bitch.

When Jina sees this anonymous comment on a forum it forces her out of her stupor. It is posted on a website dissecting her public allegations of workplace sexual assault, the backlash to which forced her to quit her job. She has spent months glued to her laptop screen, junk-food packaging piling up around her, tracking the hate campaign that's raging against her online. This post stands out from the noise, for it could only have been made by someone who knew her as a student at university.

The comment stirs something deeply repressed. So Jina returns to Anjin University, and to the toxic culture that destroyed the lives of many female students including one, Ha Yuri, who died tragically and mysteriously not long before Jina left. Somewhere within Jina's memories is the truth about what happened to Yuri all those years ago.

Told in alternating viewpoints, in sharp, intelligent and multi-layered prose, this powerful and necessary novel confronts issues of sexism and abuse on university campuses.


Another Person was an interesting and thought-provoking story. I liked the way the author kept introducing new angles, so you were constantly forced to re-evaluate who was in the right and who was telling the truth, perhaps the final thought being that the truth of any given situation can vary based on the position of the different people involved. It shone a light on a number of complex issues, really making you think about them from different perspectives. It's clearly a feminist work, yet it also allowed room for other viewpoints. This book won't be for everyone, given its subject matter, but I found it a thoughtful and well-written read, so I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

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