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Beasts of a Little Land : a novel
2021
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After her desperate family sells her to a courtesan school, Jade befriends JungHo, an orphan boy begging on the streets of Seoul, and must decide to pursue her dreams or risk everything in the fight for independence. 100,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

"An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

<p><strong>"A spectacular debut filled with great characters and heart.&#8221; &#8212;Lisa See, author of <em>Snow Flower and the Secret Fan</em></strong></p><p><strong>A Recommended Read from: <em>USA Today * The Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * The Today Show * Real Simple * Good Morning America * Harper's Bazaar * Buzzfeed * Fortune * Vulture * Goodreads * Lit Hub * Book Riot * PopSugar * E! Online * Ms. Magazine * Chicago Review of Books * Bustle * The Oregonian * The Millions</em></strong></p><p><strong>An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter</strong></p><p>In 1917, deep in the snowy mountains of occupied Korea, an impoverished local hunter on the brink of starvation saves a young Japanese officer from an attacking tiger. In an instant, their fates are connected&#8212;and from this encounter unfolds a saga that spans half a century.</p><p>In the aftermath, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver&#8217;s courtesan school, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. When she befriends an orphan boy named JungHo, who scrapes together a living begging on the streets of Seoul, they form a deep friendship. As they come of age, JungHo is swept up in the revolutionary fight for independence, and Jade becomes a sought-after performer with a new romantic prospect of noble birth. Soon Jade must decide whether she will risk everything for the one who would do the same for her.</p><p>From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in Pyongyang to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul and the boreal forests of Manchuria, where battles rage, Juhea Kim&#8217;s unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation&#8217;s. Immersive and elegant,&#160;<em>Beasts of a Little Land</em>&#160;unveils a world where friends become enemies, enemies become saviors, heroes are persecuted, and beasts take many shapes.</p> - (HARPERCOLL)

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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Kim's dreamy, intense debut is both a sure-footed historical account of the Korean struggle for independence from Japan and the emotionally fraught story of several people whose lives are inextricably tied together. Among the sprawling cast first introduced in 1917 is a starving Korean soldier who meets a Japanese soldier while hunting a tiger, a young woman raped and impregnated by a loutish Japanese officer, and a Seoul street urchin who joins the Communist Party. Several years later, a rickshaw driver makes his way up the economic ladder, and many others factor in over the following decades. At the center of the novel is Jade, the eldest daughter of a poor rural family, who in 1918 is trained as a courtesan and later becomes a famous actor—though that's not the end of her bumpy journey. As the lives of the characters touch, in small ways or large, romances bloom and fade, and fortunes rise and fall. While the members of the Japanese military often verge on being caricatures of villains, and some readers may balk at the novel's coincidences, the prose is ravishing and Kim demonstrates remarkable control of a complicated narrative. Even those with little knowledge of Korean history will come away struck by the way individuals shape and are shaped by the political and cultural changes of the first half of the 20th century. The author's off to a strong start. Agent: Jody Kahn, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Dec.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Kim's dreamy, intense debut is both a sure-footed historical account of the Korean struggle for independence from Japan and the emotionally fraught story of several people whose lives are inextricably tied together. Among the sprawling cast first introduced in 1917 is a starving Korean soldier who meets a Japanese soldier while hunting a tiger, a young woman raped and impregnated by a loutish Japanese officer, and a Seoul street urchin who joins the Communist Party. Several years later, a rickshaw driver makes his way up the economic ladder, and many others factor in over the following decades. At the center of the novel is Jade, the eldest daughter of a poor rural family, who in 1918 is trained as a courtesan and later becomes a famous actor—though that's not the end of her bumpy journey. As the lives of the characters touch, in small ways or large, romances bloom and fade, and fortunes rise and fall. While the members of the Japanese military often verge on being caricatures of villains, and some readers may balk at the novel's coincidences, the prose is ravishing and Kim demonstrates remarkable control of a complicated narrative. Even those with little knowledge of Korean history will come away struck by the way individuals shape and are shaped by the political and cultural changes of the first half of the 20th century. The author's off to a strong start. Agent: Jody Kahn, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Dec.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

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