Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 out of 5 stars

Kim Jiyoung is the Korean ‘everywoman’. She leads an average life and, like many women before her, she’s just left her office job to take care of her baby daughter. Soon, she starts to impersonate her mother and then other women. As her mental health deteriorates, her family seeks help.

Cho Nam-Joo’s book is a story of an average woman’s life in South Korea, from childhood to motherhood. The author seeks reasons for Kim Jiyoung’s illness and presents her life in detail. Backed up by the statistical data, the plot seems to offer a real-life story, despite being a work of fiction. The picture painted by the author is that of patriarchal rule and discrimination. From an early age, girls are treated differently than boys. While it is never said allowed, they are considered inferior. I found the lecture of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 fascinating but also infuriating at times. It shows systematic discrimination in everyday life, like the fact that the school register always starts with all the boys. It is horrible to think that those issues still exist.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is written in a simple, journalistic style. It has no linear plot, apart from following a quiet and uneventful life of a young woman. It seems realistic, especially since the style and structure of the book suggest a biography. Despite the slow action, I could not stop reading. I would recommend this book to everyone and especially young women.

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