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An intimate, dazzling novel about the saving grace of language and human connection, from the "visionary" (New York Times Book Review) author of the International Booker Prize winner The Vegetarian
"Now and then, language would thrust its way into her sleep like a skewer through meat, startling her awake several times a night."
In a classroom in Seoul, a young woman watches her Greek language teacher at the blackboard. She tries to speak but has lost her voice. Her teacher finds himself drawn to the silent woman, for day by day he is losing his sight.
Soon the two discover a deeper pain binds them together. For her, in the space of just a few months, she has lost both her mother and the custody battle for her nine-year-old son. For him, it's the pain of growing up between Korea and Germany, being torn between two cultures and languages, and the fear of losing his independence.
Greek Lessons tells the story of two ordinary people brought together at a moment of private anguish—the fading light of a man losing his vision meeting the silence of a woman who has lost her language. Yet these are the very things that draw them to each other. Slowly the two discover a profound sense of unity—their voices intersecting with startling beauty, as they move from darkness to light, from silence to breath and expression.
Greek Lessons is the story of the unlikely bond between this pair and a tender love letter to human intimacy and connection—a novel to awaken the senses, one that vividly conjures the essence of what it means to be alive.
About the Author
Han Kang was born in 1970 in South Korea. She is the author of The Vegetarian, winner of the International Booker Prize, Human Acts, and The White Book. A recipient of the Yi Sang Literary Award, the Today's Young Artist Award, and the Manhae Prize for Literature, she works as a professor in the department of creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.
Deborah Smith was a co-winner of the International Booker Prize for her translation of The Vegetarian. Emily Yae Won is a translator based in Seoul. She has translated into Korean the work of Ali Smith and Deborah Levy.