The runaway bestseller that has sold over one million copies internationally, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is the most important book to have come out of South Korea since Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.
Kim Jiyoung is the most common name for Korean women born in the 1980s.
Kim Jiyoung is representative of her generation:
At home, she is an unfavoured sister to her princeling little brother.
In primary school, she is a girl who has to line up behind the boys at lunchtime.
In high school, she is a daughter whose father blames her for being harassed late at night.
In university, she is a good student who doesn’t get put forward for internships by her professor.
In the office, she is an exemplary employee who is overlooked for promotion by her manager.
At home, she is a wife who has given up her career to take care of her husband and her baby.
Kim Jiyoung is depressed.
Kim Jiyoung has started to act out.
Kim Jiyoung is her own woman.
Kim Jiyoung is insane.
Kim Jiyoung’s husband sends her to see a psychiatrist.
This is his clinical assessment of the everywoman in contemporary Korea.