In brief: Lemon; The Nutmeg’s Curse; Dirt – reviewsEnglish(English) Article
The Guardian / September 26, 2021
Kwon Yeo-Sun brings eerie beauty to crime fiction, Amitav Ghosh traces the climate crisis to colonialism and Bill Buford goes to the heart of French cuisine Lemon Kwon Yeo-Sun (translated by Janet Hong) Apollo, £12.99, pp192 Seoul 2002 and a city that’s been gripped by World Cup fever is about to be consumed by an infinitely darker news story: the murder of 18-year-old Kim Hae-on, whose ethereal good looks lead to the case being dubbed “the high school beauty murder”. Nobody is ever charged and 17 years on it still consumes her younger sister, Da-on, whose entire self – dumpy and plain but whip-smart and brimming with life – has altered in response. Though the narrative takes the form of a detective novel, it becomes a meditation on envy, grief and, this being South Korea, plastic surgery. Understated yet lingeringly eerie.
20 New Works of Fiction to Read This SeasonEnglish(English) Article
The New York Times / September 21, 2021
New novels from Jonathan Franzen and Anthony Doerr, a political thriller by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny, a Korean murder mystery — and more.
Chang-rae Lee's next novel My Year Abroad is the travel story we need — see the coverEnglish(English) Article
Entertainment Weekly / September 16, 2020
Chang-rae Lee has written the novel that Americans, stationary as we are while marooned within the country, will be clamoring for. His next book, My Year Abroad, follows a young American who takes up with a Chinese American businessmen in a mentorship made for these times. Tiller, a college student, joins Pong Lou on a seemingly never-ending trip across Asia. One year later, he meets an older woman and her son in an airport and plunges himself into their lives. The novel alternates between the two story lines, with a humorous and thought-provoking exploration of global culture.
‘My Year Abroad’ Review: The Wisdom of AimlessnessEnglish(English) Article
The Harvard Crimson / September 14, 2021
In an interview with Princeton University, acclaimed novelist Chang-rae Lee once described his wordsmithing as a sort of “pathology.” “I like to put a lot of pressure and attention on every sentence, and I really can’t move on until I’m satisfied by the previous sentence,” he said. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Lee to revise a single line 10 or 20 times before training his focus on the next. This strategy seems rather excessive until one becomes acquainted with the exacting style of Lee’s prose. His writing is marked by a hallmark descriptive richness — and extremely long sentences. A sentence on the first page of his novel “The Surrendered,” the Pulitzer Prize finalist on the intersecting paths of three lives shaped by the devastation of the Korean War, numbers nearly 70 words. His newest foray into fiction, “My Year Abroad,” is no exception. Totalling 61 words, the book’s opening sentence snakes well into the first page.
Writers Transcend Diaspora | LISTEnglish(English) Article
list_Books from Korea / September 01, 2014
Writers Transcend Diaspora By Kim Jonghoi on Oct 30 2014 18:46:59 Vol.25 Autumn 2014While there is no shortage of expressions that reflect this new era of globalization, the world as one global village, one word has become imperative when discussing the current state of the Korean people. Diaspora, a term derived from the Greek meaning “scattering” or “dispersion,” is most notably used in reference to the Jews who were forced to live outside their homeland for most of Jewish history, while retaining their ethnic identity and religious practices.The nature and scope of the diaspora, however, is similar to what has happened to the Korean people since the late 19th century, many of whom left their homeland to survive the turbulent history of modern Korea: the forced occupation of the Korean peninsula by Imperial Japan and the subsequent Korean War that divided the nation into the South and the North. The Korean diaspora includes the ethnic Koreans who moved to China and the Soviet Union in search of a better life; to Japan, drafted into the military but unable to return; and later as exported labor to the United States.
"BOOK REVIEW: CRYING IN H MART – A MEMOIR BY MICHELLE ZAUNER (2021) "English(English) Article
Asia Media International / October 31, 2021
BRIANNA HIRAMI WRITES — Nobody is shocked to hear that you will have many difficult relationships in life that may cause fights, breakups, and pettiness. There are many romance novels and reality T.V. shows that warn you about the strains that a person can have with a romantic partner, but mainstream entertainment lacks a genre that warns you against the scars that an Asian mother may leave upon you. As a person with an Asian mother, a manual may have been helpful while going through my own high school years.
A Murder Mystery That Refuses to Be SolvedEnglish(English) Article
Vulture / October 28, 2021
Read the first chapter of Kwon Yeo-Sun’s slim novel Lemon and you could easily mistake it for a thriller. The book, translated from Korean by Janet Hong, has all the elements of the genre: protagonists haunted by an unsolved murder, a cop more interested in making an arrest than finding the killer, a dead girl whose beauty has turned her into something approaching myth. But this is a murder mystery less interested in victim and killer than in the motivations of those consuming their story—those who create meaning where, most likely, none exists. That consumption is its own violence. Gradually, we managed to return to our rightful place, our emotions numbed by the strain and struggle of our looming college entrance exam. We told ourselves: Some of us had to go, that’s all. One had an accident, one went abroad, one transferred schools, one dropped out, but we’re still here, aren’t we? Ah, this is killing us. Nothing’s changed. What kind of life is this? Is this living?
What Fran’s Reading: Two compelling novels about sibling loyaltyEnglish(English) Article
Jersey's Best / October 27, 2021
One of the exciting things about our increasingly smaller world is the surfacing of authors whose work is known, even award-winning, in their countries, yet new to American readers. Korean author Kwon Yeo-sun’s new novel, “Lemon” (Other Press, 160 pp., $20), is a case in point. Yeo-sun’s novels and short stories have won literary awards in her country, but this is her first novel to be published in English. But I suspect we’ll be encountering more of her writing.
8 Must-Read New Books Out This WeekEnglish(English) Article
Bustle / October 26, 2021
A Virgin Homicide as Told by the Girls She Left BehindEnglish(English) Article
The New York Times / October 25, 2021
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