Greek Lessons

Greek Lessons


Book of the Year 2023 according to New Yorker, TIME magazine, Kirkus

A powerful novel of the saving grace of language and human connection, from the celebrated author of The Vegetarian.

'Breathtaking . . . She is simply my favourite living writer to read, and think with, and see the world with' Max Porter

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 they discover a deeper pain binds them. 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.

Greek Lessons is a tender love letter to human connection, a novel to awaken the senses, vividly conjuring the essence of what it means to be alive.

Translated by Deborah Smith and e. yaewon.

'Another stunning gem: quiet, sharply faceted, and devastating' Kirkus

'Han Kang's vivid and at times violent storytelling will wake up even the most jaded of literary palates' Independent

'Han Kang is a writer like no other. In a few lines, she seems to traverse the entirety of human experience' Katie Kitamura


  • By turns love letter to and critique of language itself, Greek Lessons is a brief yet, in its concision and finesse, lapidary work . . . one of Han's most intimate works
    Financial Times

About the author

Han Kang

Han Kang was born in 1970 in South Korea. In 1993 she made her literary debut as a poet and was first published as novelist in 1994. Han Kang won the Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian and was shortlisted for The White Book, alongside her translator, Deborah Smith. Han has also won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today's Young Artist Award and the Manhae Literary Prize. She taught in the department of creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts for eleven years before leaving in 2018 to focus on writing.
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