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  • W&N

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A neglected young woman experiences the violence and isolation of contemporary Korean society, from the two million copy 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' Sharlene Teo

'A subtle, deep, unique work of true literature' Defne Suman

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

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Kyung-Sook Shin

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.

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