Author: Sa-gwa Kim
324 pages | 210*148mm
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|>>>This book is written in Korean.|
About This Book
The first novel by a budding writer, this impressive work vividly and trenchantly recreates the dark reality of South Korean teenagers, who are managed and trained by coercive schools and demanding parents. Enriched overnight thanks to a winning lottery ticket, Mina’s family lives in a luxury villa. An only child, the protagonist’s friend Sujeong excels others in everything including looks, grades, and social status and duly obeys the rules and order established by grownups, coolly managing herself without “immature” emotional dissipation. Accordingly, she disdains Mina, both of whom receive private tutoring in essay writing for the college entrance examinations, for reading works by philosophers such as Carl Jung and Gilles Deleuze but, at the same time, envies her friend’s wealth, as symbolized by the lavish chandelier in Mina’s house. After hearing of the completely unexpected suicide of Bak Jiye due to bad grades, her best friend back in primary school, however, Mina is so shocked that she drops out of school. Frustrated and puzzled in turn by her friend’s reaction, Sujeong kills the stray cat that she has brought home by throwing it against the wall, then throws it out of the window. Although in love with Mina yet unable to understand her friend’s feelings and to distinguish between love and possessiveness, Sujeong finally visits her friend one early morning and reveals her feelings, then stabs Mina to death.
With its realistic depiction of the rough language and impulsive actions of adolescents, bold stance against adults’ corrupt order, and light-hearted yet provocative and unconventional style, this first novel by an emerging writer became an instant talk of the town. In addition, it dispels any remaining myth about the supposed “innocence” of South Korean teenagers today, who in fact are bedeviled by the cutthroat competition of what has been termed the “college entrance exam hell.” Acclaimed for its gripping portrayal of the psychology of isolation and deprivation, this volume is all the more significant because new writers’ first published books are rarely full-length novels nowadays.
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