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Please Look After Mom
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Rating
A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea--a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation--this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family's search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway. Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, "Please Look After Mom" is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love. You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.
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About the Author

Kyung-sook Shin is the author of numerous works of fiction and is one of South Korea's most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She has been honored with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France's Prix de l'Inapercu. "Please Look After Mom "is her first book to appear in English and will be published in nineteen countries. Currently a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City, she lives in Seoul.

Reviews

"Shin's novel, her first to be translated into English, embraces multiplicity. It is told from the perspectives of four members of [a missing woman's] family; from their memories emerges a portrait of a heroically industrious woman. [Mom] runs their rural home 'like a factory, ' sews and knits and tills the fields. The family is poor, but she sees to it that her children's bellies are filled . . . Only after her children grow up and leave their home in [the countryside] does Mom's strength and purposefulness begin to flag. Questions punctuate [the] narrative and lead to a cascade of revelations, discoveries that come gradually. . . Shin's prose, intimate, and hauntingly spare, powerfully conveys grief's bewildering immediacy. [Daughter] Chi-hon's voice is the novel's most distinct, but Father's is the most devastating. . . . And yet this book isn't as interested in emotional manipulation as it is in the invisible chasms that open up between people who know one another best. . . . A raw tribute to the mysteries of motherhood." --Mythili G. Rao, "The New York Times Book Review" "The universal resonance of family life lifts a novel rooted in the experience of Korean modernity to international success. A best-seller in her native South Korea, Shin's "Please Look After Mom "tells the story of Park So-nyo, a devoted, do-all wife and mother who mysteriously goes missing. . . . Primarily composed of four sections narrated by Park, her eldest son, her husband, and one of their two daughters, the book--Shin's first to be translated into English--is a moving portrayal of the surprising nature, sudden sacrifices, and secret reveries of motherhood. . . . As the novel progresses and Park's whereabouts remain unclear, much that can be forgotten between mothers and children, husbands and wives, and among siblings resurfaces in the voices of this family desperate to locate the one person who was and always will be the center of their lives." --Lisa Shea, "Elle" " "The universal resonance of family life lifts a novel rooted in the experience of Korean modernity to international success. A best-seller in her native South Korea, Shin's "Please Look After Mom "tells the story of Park So-nyo, a devoted, do-all wife and mother who mysteriously goes missing. . . . Primarily composed of four sections narrated by Park, her eldest son, her husband, and one of their two daughters, the book--Shin's first to be translated into English--is a moving portrayal of the surprising nature, sudden sacrifices, and secret reveries of motherhood. . . . As the novel progresses and Park's whereabouts remain unclear, much that can be forgotten between mothers and children, husbands and wives, and among siblings resurfaces in the voices of this family desperate to locate the one person who was and always will be the center of their lives." --Lisa Shea, "Elle" "Indelible . . . In four distinct voices, the character of Mom--a rural farmwoman whose 'hands could nur "Indelible . . . In four distinct voices, the character of Mom--a rural farmwoman whose 'hands could nurture any life'--is reassembled by her eldest daughter, whose books Mom couldn't read; her eldest son, for whom she could never do enough; her husband, who never slowed down; and finally Mom herself as she wanders through memories both strange and familiar. Shin's breathtaking novel is an acute reminder of how easily a family can fracture, how little we truly know one another, and how desperate need can sometimes overshadow even the deepest love. VERDICT: Already a prominent writer in Korea, Shin finally makes her English-language debut with what will appeal to all readers who appreciate compelling, page-turning prose. Stay tuned: "Mom" should be one of this year's most-deserving bestsellers." --Terry Hong, "Library Journal" "A mother's disappearance exposes family consciences, secrets and dependencies . . . An enormous pu

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