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New Release: Please Look After Mom

By Kyung-sook Shin
Knopf | 256pgs
Release Date: April 5, 2011

Korean literary star Kyung-sook Shin makes her English language debut with the heartrending Please Look After Mom. Translated by Chi-Young Kim, the story deals with a grief stricken family searching for a mother who has disappeared from a bustling Seoul subway station. Voiced in four distinct narratives: the son, daughter, father, and finally the mother, Park So-nyo’s own point of view, a family portrait is drawn full of love, guilt and regret. Park So-nyo has spent a lifetime delaying her own dreams for the benefit of her family, but it is not until she is absent from their lives that her children and husband appreciate the enormity of her sacrifices. Though they love her, they realize they do not truly know her.

What Critics are saying:
Kyung-sook Shin is a bestselling novelist in South Korea, where Please Look After Mom has already sold a million copies. Western critics have given the author high praise for her first publication in English. Karen Gaudette of The Seattle Times calls the book “a suspenseful, haunting, achingly lovely novel about the hidden lives, wishes, struggles and dreams of those we think we know best.” Gaudette also commends Shin on a writing style that “makes it simple for readers to transpose their own families into such a crushing scenario, and the onslaught of emotion that the narrative evokes is strangely cathartic.”

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