Y/N (Paperback)
  • Y/N (Paperback)
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Y/N (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 196 Pages
Published: 08/06/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

A bravura debut fizzing with invention and playfulness, Y/N chronicles a disaffected woman's obsession with a K-Pop star as her life and the fan fiction she writes begin to inexorably converge.

Surreal, hilarious, and shrewdly poignant-a novel about a Korean American woman living in Berlin whose obsession with a K-pop idol sends her to Seoul on a journey of literary self-destruction.

It's as if her life only began once Moon appeared in it. The desultory copywriting work, the boyfriend, and the want of anything not-Moon quickly fall away when she beholds the idol in concert, where Moon dances as if his movements are creating their own gravitational field; on live streams, as fans from around the world comment in dozens of languages; even on skincare products endorsed by the wildly popular Korean boy band, of which Moon is the youngest, most luminous member.

Seized by ineffable desire, our unnamed narrator begins writing Y/N fanfic-in which you, the reader, insert [Your/Name] and play out an intimate relationship with the unattainable star.

Then Moon suddenly retires, vanishing from the public eye. As Y/N flies from Berlin to Seoul to be with Moon, our narrator, too, journeys to Korea in search of the object of her love. There, an escalating series of mistranslations and misidentifications land her at the headquarters of the Kafkaesque entertainment company that manages the boyband until, at a secret location, together with Moon at last, art and real life approach their final convergence.

From a conspicuous new talent comes Y/N, a provocative literary debut about the universal longing for transcendence and the tragic struggle to assert one's singular story amidst the amnesiac effects of globalization.

Crackling with the intellectual sensitivity of Elif Batuman and the sinewy absurdism of Thomas Pynchon, Esther Yi's prose unsettles the boundary between high and mass art, exploding our expectations of a novel about "identity" and offering in its place a sui generis picture of the loneliness that afflicts modern life.

Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
ISBN: 9781787704411
Number of pages: 196
Dimensions: 210 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

“In her funny, short, brilliantly oddball debut, the American novelist Esther Yi has found a fresh, electric way of saying “Screw you” to the marriage plot with a furiously clever tale of a female copywriter who becomes infatuated with a member of a Korean boy band…. Unlike the formulaic pop material she animates here, Yi has fashioned a novel that is witty, self-knowing and, extraordinarily, far beyond categorisation.” - The Sunday Times

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“Pop culture 'ad absurdum'”

Really wonderfully written novel, she writes with incredible complexity and her use of language is so unique. The idea is so fascinating, to take popular culture and the idolisation of pop stars to this level where... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 3

“A head scratching masterpiece”

Esther Yi’s terrific debut is one of the most unusual and original novels I have read for a long time. It is a brilliant examination of parasocial relationships and the cult of celebrity, as well as a surrealist fever... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“Dreamlike Wonder”

I was taken in by this story of fandom and it’s extremes. Certain things felt familiar and will be familiar to others (life changing live performance? Check) but in many ways this was entirely different and ultimately... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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