Whale is the English-language debut of a beloved and bestselling South Korean author, a born storyteller with a cinematic, darkly humorous, and thoroughly original perspective.
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 a few of the events that set Myeong-kwan Cheon's beautifully crafted, wild world in motion.
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.
Brimming with surprises and wicked humor, Whale is an adventure-satire of epic proportions by one of the most original voices in international literature.
372 pages. Paperback.
About the Author
Myeong-kwan Cheon is a South Korean novelist and screenwriter. Upon publication of his first story, "Frankand I" (2003), he received the prestigious Munhakdongne New Writer Award. His debut novel, The Whale, published the following year, won him the 10th Munhakdongne Novel Award. His novels have been translated into Chinese, English, French, Thai, Russian, and Vietnamese.
Chi-Young Kim is a literary translator and editor based in Los Angeles. A recipient of the Man Asian Literary Prize for her work on Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin (2011), she has translated over a dozen books, including works by Ae-ran Kim, You-jeong Jeong, and Young-ha Kim, among others.