Folklorn
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Folklorn

3.71 (872 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Elsa Park is a physicist at the top of her game, stationed at an international observatory in Antarctica thousands of miles from ghosts that have haunted her family her entire life. But even the South Pole can't prevent her childhood imaginary friend from finding her. The reappearance of this ghostly apparition signals that the curse her mother told her afflicted the women of their line - who were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean folklore, and whose story Elsa has tried desperately to outrun - is finally catching up to her.

Elsa can't get rid of the ghost girl who leads her, White Rabbit-like, to a Stockholm professor of Korean poetry. Even more disconcerting, she learns that her mother, who went mute and catatonic after a mysterious accident in Elsa's adolescence, has suddenly spoken for the first time in decades, muttering about "the other girl."

When tragedy strikes, Elsa must return to the childhood home and cultural lore she rejected in favour of ambition and hard science. There, she grapples with a splintered family as she seeks long-elusive answers in the handwritten pages of her mother's dark folktales. Meanwhile, the fate Elsa spent her adult life running from looms ever closer. Just how tightly bound is she to the stories that cursed her ancestors? What more do we pass on - as individuals, as women, as immigrants far from home - besides our stories?
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 216 x 140 x 38.1mm | 498.95g
  • United States
  • English, Undetermined
  • Text only
  • 1645660168
  • 9781645660163
  • 1,061,002

Review quote

"An elegant punch to the face.... beautiful and hard and hungry, full of sharp, painful observations, slicing cliches open like prickly pears and devouring their hearts." -New York Times

"[A] beautiful meditation on childhood trauma as well as an exploration into Korean heritage... a gorgeous journey into the intersection of science and myth and how our past traumas shape us - but how they need not define us." - NPR "Best Books of 2021"

"Ghost story, family saga, parable, feminist reimagined myth: Angela Mi Young Hur's hugely ambitious Folklorn is a spellbinding shape-shifter of a novel that tackles questions of race, culture, and history head-on, exploring the blurry boundaries between past and present, fact and fantasy, and personal and cultural-or cosmic." -Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

"Vivid and delectable. Angela Mi Young Hur is equally at home working in the fertile territories of myth and the fantastic as in the nuanced portrayal of a contemporary, complex family. I loved this." - Kelly Link, Pulitzer Prize finalist and National bestselling author of Get in Trouble

"In Folklorn, Angela Mi Young Hur weaves the fantastic into the realism of a compelling family saga, creating a heartfelt novel as original as it is irresistible. Pick this up if you're ready to not put it down." -Mat Johnson, author of Pym and Loving Day

"Spectacular. . . . Hur writes with virtuosity and power, weaving together the ribbons of the mythic with the complex tapestry of family and history to create a gorgeous, moving whole." -Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians

"Folklorn is a work of capacious, original imagination: part supernatural mystery, part immigrant family story. Hur's mixing and melding of genres is an inventive, elegant means of illuminating the dualities of diasporic experience, as well as a testament to the essential role of stories in understanding our identities." -Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

"Dark, difficult, and riveting-Folklorn gave me endless trouble, and I appreciate it." -R. F. Kuang, Astounding Award-winning author of The Poppy War

"With enviable ambition and swagger, Folklorn tosses us from one shimmering setting to another: Antarctic research station, Korean spa, Scandinavian island, hipster neighborhood in Stockholm, auto body shop in Southern California. Exploring our genetic and traumatic inheritances, Angela Hur weaves gorgeous Korean fables through a woman's messy, international search for redemption and connection. This novel is brash, defiant and ultimately full of yearning." -Chia-Chia Lin, author of The Unpassing

"Haunting and spiritual and touching, and so unique. This is absolutely one to be cherished." -"Tor.com 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

"A complex meditation on intergenerational trauma.... The honest look at prickly Elsa's internalized racism is ambitious but often brutal in its unflinching execution.... This thought-provoking work will appeal to SFF fans who like their talk of particle physics side by side with fox spirits and fairy tales." -Publishers Weekly

"Genre-defying and emotionally unsettling, it is a book that refuses to stay in whatever category the reader wants to put it.... Well worth the effort." -Locus "An elegant punch to the face....beautiful and hard and hungry, full of sharp, painful observations, slicing cliches open like prickly pears and devouring their hearts." -New York Times

"[A] beautiful meditation on childhood trauma as well as an exploration into Korean heritage... a gorgeous journey into the intersection of science and myth and how our past traumas shape us - but how they need not define us." - NPR "Best Books of 2021"

"Haunting and spiritual and touching, and so unique. This is absolutely one to be cherished." -"Tor.com 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

"A complex meditation on intergenerational trauma....The honest look at prickly Elsa's internalized racism is ambitious but often brutal in its unflinching execution....This thought-provoking work will appeal to SFF fans who like their talk of particle physics side by side with fox spirits and fairy tales." -Publishers Weekly

"Genre-defying and emotionally unsettling, it is a book that refuses to stay in whatever category the reader wants to put it.... Well worth the effort." -Locus

"Ghost story, family saga, parable, feminist reimagined myth: Angela Mi Young Hur's hugely ambitious Folklorn is a spellbinding shape-shifter of a novel that tackles questions of race, culture, and history head-on, exploring the blurry boundaries between past and present, fact and fantasy, and personal and cultural-or cosmic." -Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

"Vivid and delectable. Angela Mi Young Hur is equally at home working in the fertile territories of myth and the fantastic as in the nuanced portrayal of a contemporary, complex family. I loved this." - Kelly Link, Pulitzer Prize finalist and National bestselling author of Get in Trouble

"Dark, difficult, and riveting-Folklorn gave me endless trouble, and I appreciate it." -R. F. Kuang, Astounding Award-winning author of The Poppy War

"In Folklorn, Angela Mi Young Hur weaves the fantastic into the realism of a compelling family saga, creating a heartfelt novel as original as it is irresistible. Pick this up if you're ready to not put it down." -Mat Johnson, author of Pym and Loving Day

"Spectacular. . . .Hur writes with virtuosity and power, weaving together the ribbons of the mythic with the complex tapestry of family and history to create a gorgeous, moving whole." -Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians

"Folklorn is a work of capacious, original imagination: part supernatural mystery, part immigrant family story. Hur's mixing and melding of genres is an inventive, elegant means of illuminating the dualities of diasporic experience, as well as a testament to the essential role of stories in understanding our identities." -Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

"With enviable ambition and swagger, Folklorn tosses us from one shimmering setting to another: Antarctic research station, Korean spa, Scandinavian island, hipster neighborhood in Stockholm, auto body shop in Southern California. Exploring our genetic and traumatic inheritances, Angela Hur weaves gorgeous Korean fables through a woman's messy, international search for redemption and connection. This novel is brash, defiant and ultimately full of yearning." -Chia-Chia Lin, author of The Unpassing
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Rating details

872 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 23% (203)
4 38% (330)
3 27% (237)
2 10% (84)
1 2% (18)
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