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Winter in Sokcho

by Elisa Shua Dusapin

Translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins.

Price: £9.99

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Quick take

A sparse, searching, novel set on the desolate coast in an off-season Korean holiday resort.

Synopsis

As if Marguerite Duras wrote Convenience Store Woman a beautiful, unexpected novel from a debut French Korean author

It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down....

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As if Marguerite Duras wrote Convenience Store Woman a beautiful, unexpected novel from a debut French Korean author

It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down. Bodies are red and raw, the fish turn venomous, beyond the beach guns point out from the North’s watchtowers. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives: a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape.

The two form an uneasy relationship. When she agrees to accompany him on trips to discover an ‘authentic’ Korea, they visit snowy mountaintops and dramatic waterfalls, and cross into North Korea. But he takes no interest in the Sokcho she knows – the gaudy neon lights, the scars of war, the fish market where her mother works. As she’s pulled into his vision and taken in by his drawings, she strikes upon a way to finally be seen.

An exquisitely-crafted debut, which won the Prix Robert Walser, Winter in Sokcho is a novel about shared identities and divided selves, vision and blindness, intimacy and alienation. Elisa Shua Dusapin’s voice is distinctive and unmistakable.

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  • Elisa Shua Dusapin, born 23 October 1992 in Sarlat-la-Canéda, France, is a Franco-Korean writer currently living in Switzerland.

  • Daunt Books publish the finest and most exciting new writing in English and in translation, whether that’s literary fiction – novels and short stories – or narrative non-fiction including essays and memoir.

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