Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982
Hi guys! Hope you all are having a pleasant Friday. Here comes my book review in November 🥰 "Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982" by Cho Nam-Joo. Prior to reading this book, I have been hearing many good reviews about it. I also tried very hard to avoid hearing any spoiler content from the movie, so I could read this with a fresh mind.

I don't have a lot of exposure to Korean cultures (except food); therefore, this book has really been an eye-opener for myself. Although I am awared that gender inequality permeates in Korean society, I don't really have the explicit idea of how bad the situation is. By reading the story from Ji Young's perspective, I realize how painful and suffering it is to be born a woman in a heavily masculine-dominant society. Women are expected so much to behave this and that, yet they receive less than men in every aspect possible such as family love and support, educational opportunity, work opportunity, societal acknowledgement, empathy etc. Ji Young made me understand that it's not just disadvantageous to be a woman, but much worse. You are essentially societally crippled to have XX chromosome.

I think the author did an excellent job in terms of depicting personal experiences of the character, and how she felt and reacted toward them. She has grown up always being second to her younger brother, regardless of her achievements. She lost the job opportunity to her male colleagues despite her well-deserved ability. She has learned from her female friend that sexual harassment in workplace is common and never gets reported in fear of defaming the management and company reputation. And there are many more. There were many situations which would be very questionable if they ever occured elsewhere, but never in South Korea. I hate the ending so much, but at the same time, I don't think there exists another ending which is as good and as impactful as this one.

In conclusion, I love this book and really thankful for the experiences it has given me. Highly recommend!

PS. I have read both Thai and English version. In my personal and biased opinion, Thai does a much better job in terms of subtly including and depicting the context and emotion of the character. It hits my heart more and provides clearer pictures. English is just too cold and can be emotionally-detached sometimes. 😂
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Mind wanderer
an ordinary girl with a passion to explore the world