Human Acts centers around a young boy who meets a tragic end during the bloody events of the 1980 Gwangju massacre, after staying behind to assist in the grueling task of cataloging the ever-growing dead. This narrative threads connect and expand: a factory worker who's had enough, a homeless alcoholic traumatized by the past, a mother morning the loss of her child, a young ghost trying to come to terms with his violent death, and even the author herself.; In the midst of so much violence and cruelty, how do so many inexplicable and beautiful human acts persist? Han Kang is not a writer who gives us easy answers, but you can be sure that the tenderness that bubbles from her stories will leave a lasting impression. Recommended By Cosima C., Powells.com
What Han Kang does so well is translate violence. Human Acts studies the impact of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising in South Korea. Told in interconnecting chapters, the novel follows the story of two murdered boys, an editor, a prisoner, a factory worker, and the mother of one of the boys. Human Acts is a beautiful, painful, and resounding book.