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From the bestselling author of Please Look After Mother

Kyung-Sook Shin Anton Hur



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Weidenfeld & Nicolson
01 April 2022
'Mesmerising, dreamlike and prescient in its sharpness and attentiveness to the dynamics between women and the male and female gaze' Sharlene Teo, author of PONTI

'Darkly beautiful, VIOLETS explores the toll of abandonment and relentless marginalisation' Frances Cha, author of IF I HAD YOUR FACE

'A subtle, deep, unique work of true literature' Defne Suman, author of THE SIELNCE OF SCHEHERAZADE

We join San in 1970s rural South Korea, a young girl ostracised from her community. She meets a girl called Namae, and they become friends until one afternoon changes everything. Following a moment of physical intimacy in a minari field, Namae violently rejects San, setting her on a troubling path of quashed desire and isolation.

We next meet San, aged twenty-two, as she starts a job in a flower shop. There, we are introduced to a colourful cast of characters, including the shop's mute owner, the other florist Su-ae, and the customers that include a sexually aggressive businessman and a photographer, who San develops an obsession for. Throughout, San's moment with Namae lingers in the back of her mind.

A story of desire and violence about a young woman who everyone forgot, VIOLETS is a captivating and sensual read, full of tragedy and beauty.

[VIOLETS] binds a spell around the reader until the very end Park Wanseo

I always find myself acting out the main character in my mind when I read Kyung-Sook Shin's novels. Reading VIOLETS is like she's writing a script written perfectly for me Doona Bae, actor (Netflix's SENSE8, CLOUD ATLAS)

The story of thwarted desires and the isolated individuals that harbor them... clean prose filled with Shin's trademark rich descriptions Korea Economic Daily
Translated by:  
Imprint:   Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 214mm,  Width: 134mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   227g
ISBN:   9781474623551
ISBN 10:   1474623557
Pages:   224
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kyung-Sook Shin is one of South Korea's most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She has been honored with the Manhae Grand Prize for Literature, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, Mark of Respect Award (2012), and Ho-Am Prize for an Art (2013) as well as France's Prix de l'Inaper u and Man Asian Literary Prize (2011). She is the author of many prior works of fiction in addition to PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER, which has been published in 41 countries, and was on the New York Times bestselling list. Shin was a visiting scholar at Columbia University from 2010 to 2011. She currently lives in Seoul.

Reviews for Violets: From the bestselling author of Please Look After Mother

Mesmerising, dreamlike and prescient in its sharpness and attentiveness to the dynamics between women and the male and female gaze. VIOLETS feels utterly contemporary and recalls the work of Mariana Enriquez and Dorthe Nors -- Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti Darkly beautiful, Violets explores the toll of abandonment and the relentless marginalization of a helpless young woman. The protagonist, San, shivers with insecurity and loneliness but still dares, briefly, to dream of friendship and a normal life. Shin writes of the cruelty and dangers of disempowerment, and an ensuing spiral of despair -- Frances Cha, author of If I Had Your Face Violets lavishes attention on the kind of person who often slips through the cracks, unseen or ignored. There is a beauty and a bravery in speaking for small lives -- Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You Kyung-sook Shin has a way of seeing past the smooth surface of societal appearance and into the fragile, obscure psychological space that lies just beneath, where her characters ache in ways that feel both recognizable and possessed of deep insight. I don't know if I've ever read a book that so masterfully captures the subtle desperation of seeking a desire that can be your own in a fast-changing world -- Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun An intimate portrait of isolation and unspoken desire. Darkly poetic, dreamlike and meditative, Kyung-Sook Shin's spellbinding tale captures the invisible life and longing of a country girl trapped in a rapidly changing city -- Adelle Stripe, author of Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile Shin Kyung Sook tells us a story which takes place both in a foreign land and in a very familiar space in our hearts. Human beings' everlasting agony of longing to belong presents itself in every page of this book with intensity and with beauty. A subtle, deep, unique work of true literature -- Defne Suman, author of The Silence of Scheherazade Violets is a moving delve into a lonely psyche, with writing raw and sophisticated, tenderhearted and clear-eyed. Vividly translated by Anton Hur, Shin Kyung-sook's novel is also an intimate, sideways portrait of Seoul through the eyes of a rural outsider who roams the bright lights and big city not in pursuit of ambitious dreams, but seeking care and human touch -- YZ Chin, author of Edge Case Violets is an aching, atmospheric novel about grief and longing. Oh San, our main character, navigates a life of haunting loneliness and yet she finds tender moments of true beauty. In this slim and powerful book, Kyung-Sook Shin deftly explores the violence of life - of shedding childhood, of becoming a woman, of searching for identity in a shifting world. A beautiful translation by Anton Hur. Go read this book! -- Crystal Hana Kim, author of If you Leave Me The beauty of Kyung-sook Shin's prose is in its expert weave of immersion, precision and surprise. The narrative ground of San, our unlikely but necessary heroine, may be fraught with unseen tensions yet the writing is as smooth as a finished surface. Despite being consistently tyrannized and quieted by her surroundings, San carries within her an indefatigable fire, a persistence to be. San represents so many women whose stories are never told -- Weike Wang, author of Chemistry Shin is known for revealing the ways in which her culture oppresses and isolates people - especially women * Kirkus *

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