It's winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down: the fish turn venomous, bodies are red and raw, beyond the beach guns point out from the North's watchtowers. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives, a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape. As she begins accompanying him on his trips to discover his idea of an authentic Korea, the two of them begin an uneasy relationship filled with suspended misunderstandings and punctuated by spilled ink. They visit snowy mountaintops, take daytrips to dramatic waterfalls, cross into North Korea. But he takes no interest in the Sokcho she knows - the gaudy and beautiful neon lights, the fish market where her mother guts squid and puffer fish, the evening meals she prepares meticulously for the guesthouse. As she's pulled into his vision and taken in by his drawings, she strikes upon a way to finally be seen. An exquisitely-crafted novel, which won the Prix Robert Walser, Winter in Sokcho is a novel about shared identities and divided selves, vision and blindness, intimacy and alienation. A natural inheritor to Marguerite Duras, Elisa Shua Duspain's voice is distinctive and unmistakable.
Number of Pages: 128
Publication Date: 20 Feb 2020
Publisher: Daunt Books
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Author BiographyElisa Shua Dusapin was born in France and raised in Paris, Seoul and Switzerland. Winter in Sokcho (Hiver a Sokcho) is her first novel. Published in 2016 to wide acclaim, it was awarded the Prix Robert Walser and the Prix Regine Desforges, and has been translated into six languages. Aneesa Abbas Higgins is a London-based translator and writer. Her translations include What Became of the White Savage by Francois Garde, which was the winner of a PEN Translates award, and Seven Stones by Venus Khoury-Ghata, for which she was shortlisted for the Scott Moncrieff Prize.