A masterpiece of modern Korean fiction

Cheon Myeong-kwan author Chi-Young Kim translator


Publisher:Europa Editions (UK) Ltd

Published:19th Jan '23

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Whale cover

A sweeping, multi-generational tale blending fable, farce, and fantasy-a masterpiece of modern fiction perfect for fans of One Hundred Years of Solitude. A woman sells her daughter to a passing beekeeper for two jars of honey. A baby weighing fifteen pounds is born in the depths of winter but named "Girl of Spring". A storm brings down the roof of a ramshackle restaurant to reveal a hidden fortune. These are just some of the events that set Cheon Myeong-kwan's beautifully crafted, wild world in motion. Set in a remote village in South Korea, Whale follows the lives of its linked characters: Geumbok, who has been chasing an indescribable thrill ever since she first saw a whale crest in the ocean; her mute daughter, Chunhui, who communicates with elephants; and a one-eyed woman who controls honeybees with a whistle. Brimming with surprises and wicked humour, Whale is an adventure-satire of epic proportions, by one of international literature's the most original voices.

"A peerless work devoted to telling a powerful story and lauded for expanding Korean literature into new dimensions." * The Hankyoreh * "A novel that seduces." * JoongAng Ilbo * "[Whale] redefines what fiction can be." * The Kyunghyang Sinmun * "Whale overflows with freshness. That's what makes it special." * OhmyNews * "Fast-paced and imaginative." -- Dennis Maloney * Modern Family * "Whale has leaped over the boundaries of a novel and entered a new space, just like South American fiction." -- Shin Soo-jung (South Korean film star) "There has never been a novel like this in Korean literature...A novel that's more like reading out loud than reading quietly to oneself; its structure is like that of a folktale. You can feel the oral tradition in the rhythm of the sentences." * Lee Dong-jin, critic *

ISBN: 9781787704336

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

368 pages