Shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award Amazon, 100 Best Books of 2017 The Atlantic, "The Best Books We Read in 2017" San Francisco Chronicle, "Best of 2017: 100 Recommended Books" NPR Book Concierge, 2017's Great Reads Library Journal, "Best Books of 2017" Huffington Post, "Best Fiction Books of 2017" Medium, Kong Tsung-gan's "Best Human Rights Books of 2017" From the internationally bestselling author of The Vegetarian, a "rare and astonishing" (The Observer) portrait of political unrest and the universal struggle for justice
In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.
The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho's best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho's own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.
An award-winning, controversial bestseller, Human Acts is a timeless, pointillist portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today, by turns tracing the harsh reality of oppression and the resounding, extraordinary poetry of humanity.