Each day, Kim Jiyoung—a daughter, wife, mother—wakes up as a different woman. We learn she knew each of them, though some are now dead. Who Jiyoung once was appears lost to this strange psychosis. The narrative comes from the perspective of Jiyoung’s male psychiatrist—complete with footnotes on real-life gender inequality in South Korea, which has seen Cho Nam-Joo’s short novel, translated by Jamie Chang, become a bestseller that has inspired many young women to reconsider the roles they’ve been tacitly forced into, and also prompted death threats from infuriated misogynists. That outrage only makes the act that finally broke Jiyoung after a lifetime of sexism all the more poignant, because it is something so small yet so big and, sadly, so common.
The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020
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