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Forgotten Country

Catherine Chung

7 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A stunning debut novel by the author of The Tenth Muse.

'A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one' Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janie's sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe.

Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. Thus begins a journey that will force her to confront her family's painful silence, the truth behind her parents' sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.

Weaving Korean folklore within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Forgotten Country is a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss, the conflict between obligation and freedom, and a family struggling to find its way out of silence and back to one another.

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Praise for Forgotten Country

  • In Forgotten Country, Catherine Chung tells an inexpressibly beautiful story about a Korean family with a complex history... The story builds quietly, meticulously, and Chung does a masterful job of weaving the past with the present, incorporating mythology and memory in ways that both captivate and haunt. If you read one novel this spring, let it be Forgotten Country - Roxane Gay, at The Rumpus

  • Luminous and surprising.... Chung brings a gentle, special gravity to this Korean family's tale of endurance... Her voice is fresh, her material rich, and Forgotten Country is an impressive, memorable debut - San Francisco Chronicle

  • In her gorgeous debut, Chung offers a heartbreaking story about sisters, family, and keeping traditions alive - People magazine

  • Chung indelibly portays a Korea viciously divided, but ever bound to history, myth, and hope - O, The Oprah Magazine

  • [An]... unflinchingly honest examination of grief, anger, familial obligation, and love - The New Yorker

  • Heartbreaking and redemptive - Boston Globe

  • A] beautiful debut novel...woven with tender reflections, sharp renderings of isolation, and beautiful prose....Chung simultaneously shines light on the violence of Korean history, the chill of American xenophobia, and the impossibility of home in either country - Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Catherine Chung

Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. She studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and received her MFA from Cornell. She is one of Granta's New Voices, and lives in New York City.

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