Spring on the Peninsula By Ery Shin

Categories: ,
ISBN: 9781662602238


Published by (2024-04-09)

A desultory libertine mourns a failed relationship over the course of two harsh winters in this unprecedented portrait of millennials living in Seoul.

The time is roughly now and Kai, a white-collar worker, has just been abandoned by his longtime lover. Follow him through a labyrinth of alleyways as he reels from this sudden departure. Accompany him up snowy mountains where he contemplates ending his own life. That mourning can be both an art and ever-unfolding journey is epitomized in the paths that Kai crosses and the lives he alters for better or worse.

Kai is not the only one feeling disoriented and aimless these days. Those in his inner circle similarly experience personal crises as they go through their thirties in a nation simmering with class and generational tensions as well as the specter of new and old wars. Evocative of Dangerous Liaisons in its social appraisals, and in the tradition of Neruda’s erotic reveries, Ery Shin’s striking debut captures contemporary Seoul in all of its glory and turmoil. Phantasmagorical and melancholic, and daringly irreverent, Spring on the Peninsula is a poignant meditation on modern life in a city beset by North Korea’s shadow.

Book Details

Format: eBook
Price: 15.99 USD / 22.99 CAD
Published: 2024-04-09
ISBN: 9781662602238
Page Count: 224
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

"Shin's debut novel offers a sympathetic, freewheeling portrait of the dreams and fears of modern life as a thirtysomething in Seoul . . . Shin captures the dynamics and perceptions simmering beneath the surface of her characters' complex interactions, whether during a single night of drinking or on a visit to the countryside. As their lives fall apart or come together, each asks: what should I live for?" —Bridget Thoreson, Booklist

"[An] unforgettable debut . . . The skill with which the novel is crafted—blurring the distinctions between daydream, fantasy, and reality with lilting, metaphorical prose—is undeniable . . . Shin masterfully locates the individual struggle to find meaning within a broader discourse, tussling with notions of class, gender, sexuality, generational divides, and war."
Kirkus Reviews

"[A] melancholic debut . . . Shin’s focus on such taboo subjects as Han’s heroin abuse and Jung’s abortion add to the novel’s provocative flair . . . A cloud of sadness pervades over Shin’s diffuse canvas of contemporary Korea."
Publishers Weekly

"Spring on the Peninsula is a bold and mesmerizing novel suffused with pensive, kaleidoscopic language that pulses with longing and ambivalence—the aching wish to release despair and find a way to live. Ery Shin’s versatile prose rings with confidence in this polyphonic, exciting debut."
Joseph Han, author of Nuclear Family

"Seoul’s gay bars, bathhouses, and other post-Cold-War locations make Spring on the Peninsula a beautifully written, lyrical account of gender-bending erotic adventures south of the demilitarized zone. With elegance, sensibility, sophistication, and a sharp sense of humor, Ery Shin makes her debut as a fiction writer with a bang."
Rubén Gallo, author of Muerte en La Habana

"Wildly inventive, electric, and illumined with jolts of wit and pained insight, Spring on the Peninsula is a transfixing glance at modern-day Seoul that honors the mysteries and contradictions in each of its restless characters. Page after blazing page, Shin brings her prodigious intellect and unsparing eye to bear on the strange griefs, yearnings, and moments of grace that stud an existence. Spring on the Peninsula is a bold reimagining of what a novel can be, and a marvel, through and through."
Jenny Xie, National Book Award finalist and author of Eye Level