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The hole : a novel
2017
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Brief Descriptions

A man wakes up paralyzed from a car accident that killed his wife. He's taken care of solely by his mother-in-law, who begins to show erratic behavior as she digs up her daughter's prized garden. - (Baker & Taylor)

After being widowed, paralyzed and disfigured in a bad car accident, Ogi must rely on his grieving mother-in-law for care and is left neglected and alone while he watches her mysteriously destroying his late wife’s garden and obsessively digging holes. 10,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

A man wakes up paralyzed from a car accident that killed his wife and is taken care of solely by his mother-in-law, who begins to show erratic behavior as she digs up her daughter's prized garden. - (Baker & Taylor)

Misery meets The Vegetarian in this Shirley Jackson Award-winner, named a 2017 Top 10 Thriller to Read This Summer by Time, a psychological thriller about loneliness and the dark truths we try to bury. - (Perseus Publishing)

Winner of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award
Named One of the Top 10 Thrillers to Read This Summer by Time Magazine.


In this tense, gripping novel by a rising star of Korean literature, Oghi has woken from a coma after causing a devastating car accident that took his wife's life and left him paralyzed and badly disfigured. His caretaker is his mother-in-law, a widow grieving the loss of her only child. Oghi is neglected and left alone in his bed. His world shrinks to the room he lies in and his memories of his troubled relationship with his wife, a sensitive, intelligent woman who found all of her life goals thwarted except for one: cultivating the garden in front of their house. But soon Oghi notices his mother-in-law in the abandoned garden, uprooting what his wife had worked so hard to plant and obsessively digging larger and larger holes. When asked, she answers only that she is finishing what her daughter started.

A bestseller in Korea, award-winning author Hye-young Pyun's The Hole is a superbly crafted and deeply unnerving novel about the horrors of isolation and neglect in all of its banal and brutal forms. As Oghi desperately searches for a way to escape, he discovers the difficult truth about his wife and the toll their life together took on her. - (Perseus Publishing)

Author Biography

Hye-young Pyun was born in 1972. She made her literary debut in Korean in 2000 when she won Seoul Shinmun's annual New Writer's Contest with her short story "Shaking Off Dew." She has gone on to publish four short story collections and five novels. She has received several of Korea's most prestigious literary awards, including the Dong-in Literary Award in 2011, the Yi-sang Literary Award in 2014, and the Hyundae Munhak Award in 2015. She has published short stories in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and Words Without Borders. City of Ash and Red was named Book of the Year when it was published in Poland, and it has been licensed to France, Turkey, China, and Vietnam as well. Her novel The Hole is a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award. She lives in Seoul, Korea.

Sora Kim-Russell is a literary translator based in Seoul. Her translations include Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari, Suah Bae’s Nowhere to be Found, and Kyung-sook Shin’s I’ll Be Right There. She teaches at Ewha Womans University and the Literary Translation Institute of Korea. Her full list of publications can be found at sorakimrussell.com. - (Perseus Publishing)

Hye-young Pyun was born in 1972. She earned her undergraduate degree in creative writing and graduate degree in Korean literature from Hanyang University. Her published works include the short story collections Aoi Garden, To The Kennels, Evening Courtship, and Night Passes; and the novels City of Ash and Red, They Went to the Western Forest, The Law of Lines, The Hole, and Let The Dead. She has received the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award, the Yi Hyo-Seok Literature Prize, the Today's Young Writer Award, the Dong-in Literary Award, the Yi Sang Literary Award, and the Contemporary Literature (Hyundai Munhak) Award. Her novel TheHole was the 2017 winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, and City of Ash and Red was an NPR Great Read. In 2019, she was awarded the Kim Yujeong Literary Award for her short story "Hotel Window." Her short stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and Words Without Borders. She currently teaches creative writing at Myongji University and lives in Seoul, Korea.

Sora Kim-Russell's translations include, besides The Hole, City of Ash and Red, and The Law of Lines by Hye-young Pyun, Un-su Kim's The Plotters; Hwang Sok-yong's At Dusk, which was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize; and Suah Bae's Nowhere to be Found. Her full list of publications can be found at sorakimrussell.com. She lives in Seoul, South Korea. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

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