From the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian. Both the most autobiographical and the most experimental book to date from South Korean master Han Kang. Written while on a writer's residency in Warsaw, a city palpably scarred by the violence of the past, the narrator finds herself haunted by the story of her older sister, who died a mere two hours after birth. A fragmented exploration of white things - the swaddling bands that were also her shroud, the breast milk she did not live to drink, the blank page on which the narrator herself attempts to reconstruct the story - unfold in a powerfully poetic distillation. As she walks the unfamiliar, snow-streaked streets, lined by buildings formerly obliterated in the Second World War, their identities blur and overlap as the narrator wonders, 'Can I give this life to you?'.
The White Book is a book like no other. It is a meditation on a colour, on the tenacity and fragility of the human spirit, and our attempts to graft new life from the ashes of destruction.
'A brilliant psychogeography of grief, moving as it does between place, history and memory... Poised and never flinches from serene dignity... The White Book is a mysterious text, perhaps in part a secular prayer book... Translated peerlessly by Smith, [it] succeeds in reflecting Han's urgent desire to transcend pain with language' -- --Guardian
'There is beauty and pain in every sentence and image, made sharper by their simplicity and aching honesty' -- New Internationalist
'There is a crispness to [Han's]pieces evocative of the stark luminescence of white... The White Book is a shimmering, evocative work' --National UAE
'Wonderful. A quietly gripping contemplation on life, death and the existential impact of those who have gone before' -- Eimear McBride
'Han Kang is a genius' -- Lisa McInerney
'Delicate and thoughtful and concise and dense and strong; this is the kind of writing I like to read slowly' -- --Jon McGregor, Best Books of 2017, Guardian