Posted 20 hours ago


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Of course, we tend to mock messiahs, activists who present themselves as prophets - look at Greta Thunberg! The central figure is Gaustine, a sort of time traveller who opens a clinic devoted to periods of the past, to help people with Alzheimer’s.

If you had to choose three works of fiction that have inspired your career the most, what would they be and why?A peerless work devoted to telling a powerful story and lauded for expanding Korean literature into new dimensions. There is rare propulsion to the plot (for literary fiction) that arises not from any strained special effect but from our investment in the characters and its evocation of the ordinary yet life-altering choices they –and we – must make. In 2023, Cheon was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize alongside his translator, Chi-Young Kim. She straddles me, breasts thrust up at the night like coastlines”; “Fucking her with a strap-on is like waking up summer and drowning it in its own swelter. Whale, set in a remote village in South Korea, follows the lives of many linked characters, including Geumbok, an extremely ambitious woman 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.

Being so wildly busy, not everything is covered in depth (Otoo’s heart seems to be with the 19th-century Ada), but the novel is fast-moving and never dull, all in the service of highlighting the injustices faced by women through history, and acknowledging humans as one people rather than different categories.Because the first chapter encompasses the entire plot of the novel, the whole narrative had to be settled in that first chapter.

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