Beasts of a Little Land (Paperback)Juhea Kim (author)
With an epic sweep and exquisitely described locations, Kim's sumptuous saga of two friends caught up in Korea's fight for independence brings a vanished world to vibrant, effervescent life.
* Longlisted for the HWA Debut Crown Longlist 2022 * Longlisted for the Nota Bene Prize 2023
'A stunning achievement' TLS
'Unforgettable' Nguyen Phan Que Mai, author of The Mountains Sing
As the Korean independence movement gathers pace, two children meet on the streets of Seoul. Fate will bind them through decades of love and war. They just don't know it yet.
It is 1917, and Korea is under Japanese occupation. With the threat of famine looming, ten-year-old Jade is sold by her desperate family to Miss Silver's courtesan school in the bustling city of Pyongyang. As the Japanese army tears through the country, she is forced to flee to the southern city of Seoul. Soon, her path crosses with that of an orphan named JungHo, a chance encounter that will lead to a life-changing friendship.
But when JungHo is pulled into the revolutionary fight for independence, Jade must decide between following her own ambitions and risking everything for the one she loves.
Sweeping through five decades of Korean history, Juhea Kim's sparkling debut is an intricately woven tale of love stretched to breaking point, and two people who refuse to let go.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Number of pages: 416
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 30 mm
'Beasts of a Little Land is a stunning achievement. Juhea Kim wrestles with the chaos of a half-century of love, idealism, war and violence, and does so with courage and wisdom.'-- TLS
'Full of Korean myth and historical detail, it's an immersive read for a long weekend.'-- Stylist
'This is historical fiction at its very best! I am astonished by Juhea's talent.'-- Nguyen Phan Que Mai, internationally bestselling author of The Mountains Sing
'Stunning... Profound... This novel will devastate you and then still you with its wise meditations on love and loss. I couldn't put it down.'-- Alexis Schaitkin, author of Saint X
'Juhea Kim's sweeping debut is pure reading pleasure. Rapturous, ravishing, and gorgeously rendered, Beasts of a Little Land is a portal to a whole world teeming with life, so full of wonders I wanted it never to end.'-- Catherine Chung, author of The Tenth Muse
'Beasts of a Little Land is a heartbreaking story rendered mythic by Kim's gorgeous prose.'-- Jing-Jing Lee, author of How We Disappeared
'A magnificent, mesmerizing story of love and war... Cinematic in its scope, this is the type of novel that the reader finishes both with pleasure (for its satisfying denouement and pleasing circularity) and with sadness (at having to leave the story behind).'-- New Internationalist
'Some people say that all stories are about either love or war. Set against the backdrop of early 20th-century Korea, Kim's epic debut novel is about both.'-- Harper's Bazaar US, 'Best Books of 2021'
'Covering most of the twentieth century across the Korean peninsula, Kim's debut novel wondrously reveals broken families and surprising alliances created by uncontrollable circumstances. Kim creates multiple narrative prongs, effortlessly navigating overlaps and disconnects... Richly alluring and significant.'-- Booklist (starred review)
'Gorgeous prose and unforgettable characters combine to make a literary masterpiece.'-- Kirkus, (starred review)
'Kim's dreamy, intense debut is both a sure-footed historical account of the Korean struggle for independence from Japan and the emotionally fraught story of several people whose lives are inextricably tied together... The prose is ravishing.'-- Publishers Weekly
'Elegant and wise, lush and immersive, Beasts of a Little Land is Tolstoyan in its sweep and ambition as it brings to life the Korean struggle against Japanese occupation and the making of a modern nation in the first half of the 20th century. Juhea Kim is a conjurer of rare ability whose magnificent debut utterly enchants.'-- Keija Parssinen, author of The Unraveling of Mercy Louis
'In Beasts of a Little Land, Juhea Kim has taken the concept of inyeon - human thread - to weave a beautiful story in which human connections and encounters are preordained. She explores the ideas of fate, fortune, and destiny against the backdrop of the great turbulence and historic events that transpired on the Korean peninsula during the twentieth century. A spectacular debut filled with great characters and heart.'-- Lisa See, author of The Island of Sea Women
'You wouldn't know from reading it that Beasts of a Little Land is Kim's debut novel. There is no shortage of ambition on display here, and fleet-footed narrative pacing to match it... A book written with warmth [and] wisdom.'-- USA Today
'Beasts of a Little Land is an emotional, raw, and moving novel about friendship and the struggle for Korean independence. It is a novel unlike anything I've read. Most importantly, though, it is a novel about love. Juhea Kim writes beautifully in a way that makes it difficult to put this novel down. I loved it.'-- Brandon Hobson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Removed
'An immersive historical novel set in occupied Korea with a sweeping cast of characters whose lives intersect over half a century.'-- Lit Hub, 'Most Anticipated Books of 2021'
'Jade is a courtesan, sold into the trade by her family when starvation is the only other option for her. JungHo is a beggar on the streets of Seoul. Together, they are the compelling protagonists of an exciting debut that takes us through a vast arc of 20th-century Korean history, lending an achingly human lens to sweeping historic events that still reverberate today.'-- Globe & Mail
'Juhea Kim's ambitious debut novel is an epic saga spanning fifty years of Korean history... It's a potent and immersive reading experience, alive to the particulars of its place and time. Intimate but politically resonant, it's perfect for fans of Min Jin Lee and Isabel Allende.'-- Chicago Review of Books
'Gorgeous... This transporting and elegant tale of complicated characters whose lives intertwine during the Korean independence movement of the early Twentieth Century is not to be missed... Kim's vivid and precise descriptions of place glow.'-- Departures Magazine
'An extraordinary debut novel...this is a sweeping epic that spans the turbulent decades of Korea's fight for independence... Through her magnificent prose and unforgettable characters Kim has created a literary masterpiece of love and war, and the alliances created by uncontrollable circumstance.'-- Business Day
'Would you believe I read this 400-page epic story about war and love across decades of South Korea's history in a single sitting? A debut novel that opens with a tiger encounter in the snowy mountains, it's a twist on historical fiction that roars with life.'-- Entertainment Weekly
'Unrequited love, class warfare, scandal...this novel has it all.'-- Real Simple, 'Best books of 2021'
'Kim delivers one of the dazzling debuts of the year with this epic story.'-- E! Online
'Powerful, romantic and wholly unforgettable.'-- Ms. Magazine
'Captivating... The times the characters must survive are often violent and harsh, but they maintain a surprising tender-heartedness, along with a deep need for love and purpose. Readers should expect to be swept along themselves by the waves of passion and tragedy that make the novel so appealing.'-- Shelf Awareness
'This epic historical novel offers an entrancing glimpse into a colourful world of love and conflict.'-- Daily Mail, 'Must Reads'
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