Please Look After Mother

Please Look After Mother

3.8 (23,107 ratings by Goodreads)
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PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER is about So-nyo, a wife and mother, who has lived a life of sacrifice and compromise. A few years before the novel begins she suffered a stroke, leaving her vulnerable and often confused. Now, travelling from her home village in the countryside to the Seoul of her grown-up children, she is separated from her husband as the doors close on a packed train. Her children and husband desperately follow every lead but fail to find So-nyo, last seen wandering into the hustle-and-bustle of Seoul station. The novel is told from four different viewpoints, following So-nyo's husband and two of her children as they lash out at each then grow closer again, each confronting their indifference to So-nyo's pain and loneliness. We also hear the ghostly voice of So-nyo, looking back at her childhood and unfulfilled ambitions, and yearning to be with her own mother - putting herself before her husband and children even if only in death.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 154 x 231 x 21mm | 362g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Trade Paperback.
  • 0297860747
  • 9780297860747
  • 776,441

Review quote

A captivating story, written with an understanding of the shortcomings of traditional ways of modern life. It is nostalgic but unsentimental, brutally well observed and, in this flawlessly smooth translation by Chi-Young Kim, it offers a sobering account of a vanished past. ... We must hope there will be more translations to follow * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * The most moving and accomplished, and often startling, novel in translation I've read in many seasons ... Every sentence is saturated in detail ... It tells an almost unbearably affecting story of remorse and belated wisdom that reminds us how globalism-at the human level-can tear souls apart and leave them uncertain of where to turn * WALL STREET JOURNAL * A moving portrayal of the surprising nature, sudden sacrifices, and secret reveries of motherhood * ELLE * Intimate and hauntingly spare. . . . A raw tribute to the mysteries of motherhood * NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW *
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About Kyung-Sook Shin

Shin Kyung-sook was born in a remote province of Korea to parents who worked the fields. She left school aged 16 and was sent to work at a factory in Seoul. Here she read books in secret under the conveyor belt and saved to enrol in evening classes. She made her debut as a writer at the age of 22 and has won every major Korean literary prize since. Combining huge critical and commercial success, she is a major literary figure in Korea, and a pioneer of fiction with a strong emotional undertow.
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Rating details

23,107 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 27% (6,299)
4 38% (8,776)
3 25% (5,772)
2 7% (1,705)
1 2% (555)
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