I mean, it's pretty clear she didn't want to date this guy let alone visit him at his base but she let herself be convinced that she did. What happened to her there and his inability to see any fault other than hers was a relief while being super frustrating bc she could be rid of this dude. The graphic depiction of sex later in the novel was jarring but I think really sold me on the idea that she was finally doing what she wanted. Apr 01, Meghan rated it liked it Shelves: I've figured out the Netgalley system: Get books that have been translated into English.
Even better if they are by POC. Even even better if WOC. For example, Nowhere to Be Found , you don't even have to request it; it's just there ready for download. I spent thirty minutes with it, finished, and then thought about what to write for two days. Nowhere to Be Found is a series of scenes. Each scene is like a perfect little wrapped truffle, but it's like the box of these truffles has been shaken up an I've figured out the Netgalley system: Get books that have been translated into English. Each scene is like a perfect little wrapped truffle, but it's like the box of these truffles has been shaken up and that little sheet of paper that tells you what each truffle is has been lost.
So we have smooth bits and then inelegant jumps. There's a bizarre shift partway through to a second-person, sadomasochistic narration, some of which repeats in first person at the very end my kobo note when I got to that part: WTF? There's some subtlety about class in Korean society that is touched on but likely not explored as the story was initially written for a Korean audience, who don't need their society explained to them the way I might.
There's some esoteric references The Blue Bird , but maybe smarter people than me knew what that was already. There's some cattiness and shaming: "the girl who was called the Black Hole because of her reputation for routinely going through multiple guys in one night. I like all the little components, but I'm not sure I like them once they're put together. It's less than the sum of all parts. That isn't to say I'm not going to steal some ideas from it to see what I can do with them instead. But this novella is a bit off. Not alien abduction off , but just not enough that I can really, unabashedly feel good about the experience.
And of course, my burning question with no real relevance to anything about this novella: why is Be capitalized in the title, but not to? The to Be is like a unit. Shouldn't they both be or not both be capitalized? I think Nowhere to Be Found is going to be released as one of those Amazon Singles things or something. It's short - forty pages. So a quick read. I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Apr 21, Aaron Typographical Era rated it really liked it. A young woman and her family struggle with public humiliation, shame, and poverty. The story is told from her perspective.
Middle child. Ten years older than her sister. Ten years younger than her brother. Each acts like a parent figure to the next in line below them with only the youngest daughter, A young woman and her family struggle with public humiliation, shame, and poverty. Each acts like a parent figure to the next in line below them with only the youngest daughter, Mia, being able to truly act out like a child. Mom is a hopeless alcoholic. Dad is serving jail time. The house is falling apart. There is no money.
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No prospects of anything changing for the better anytime soon. Welcome to South Korea circa Please step right in and make yourself at home. The late s to early s represent a time of rapid change for the country. The first presidential election in well over a decade sees Roh Tae-woo, a former ROK army general, come into power. Authoritarian laws are revised. Freedom of the press is expanded. Travel restrictions are lifted. The Olympic Games come to Seoul. Suah pulls no punches when describing the horrid conditions the woman is forced to endure.
May 12, David Rush rated it really liked it. This is a crazy book. In one sense I want to find out more about the author and what the heck she is all about Because what if she has some totatly reasonable explanations for lines like these? I will gladly become your toilet.
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When I can, for once in my life, for a brief moment, become ardently pure. The prison of class and circumstance. The prison of a code untra Whoa!
The prison of a code untranslatable into the language of the other. The prison of the flesh. I know it is translated but even filtered through translation that has got to be weird. Stroke my face lightly with a razor blade and suck the blood that comes seeping out. Lap it up like a cat. I want to be covered in blood. The foul scent of burning hair.
The heat. I read in other reviews it is a celebration of failure Again, I don't know what to think. It may be depressing or it may be the most important message for all of us. Apr 07, Beth Peninger rated it liked it. Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Crossing for this free readers edition. In exchange I am providing an honest review. Bae Suah is a South Korean author, thank goodness for translators! The story is told in first person and we never know the name of this woman.
She focuses in on the year in South Korea. Her father is in prison for a political reason, her brother - 10 years older than her - is headed t Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Crossing for this free readers edition. Her father is in prison for a political reason, her brother - 10 years older than her - is headed to Japan to work in the sewers because it is more money, her sister - 10 years younger than her - is still in school and has dreams, and her mother is an alcoholic that sometimes works in the local hospital. The narrator herself is working two jobs but the money earned isn't making a difference.
Life is grey. Poverty is a pit that she and her family cannot climb out of. Is this really life? All I kept thinking about while reading this title is what no hope looks like, sounds like, feels like. The nameless narrator has zero hope and she is exhausted on all levels because of it. She drifts in and out of her days with no emotion, no hope, no dreams.
She has been to college and received a higher education but is stuck in dead end jobs that provide hardly any money for life. She receives slight attention from men, one in particular in , but that attention fails to stir any kind of emotion in her. The story just ends. It left me wondering how one keeps living a life that is so grey.
Mar 04, Theresa rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , ebook , review-copy , arc , translation , literature , kindle , netgalley. This novelette is a fast yet very powerful read. It is in a sense sad and depressing, but at the same time quite eye-opening as this unnamed young woman takes you through her life of poverty. It is raw and unnerving at times and and makes the reader think of how this existence could be acceptable to live. I questioned why she didn't leave and why she took the abuse of her mother and her other relationships.
It is hard to say I enjoyed this book as it is haunting and depressing - as it seems odd t This novelette is a fast yet very powerful read. It is hard to say I enjoyed this book as it is haunting and depressing - as it seems odd that one could enjoy something of that nature. This story is well written and appears to be well translated. It is gripping and quite different than most novels I read. If you want to get a good look inside the life of a poverty stricken woman in Korea, this is certainly a story that will do it.
It is at times difficult to read, but the insight and the story is well worth the effort. I highly recommend "Nowhere to Be Found" to anyone that enjoys translated novels, modern literature and just outright gritty and realistic stories. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion. Jun 14, Marie-Therese rated it really liked it Shelves: korean-literature , contemporary-literature , south-korea , novellas.
Disquieting little book that touches movingly on themes of social class, poverty, humiliation, loss of hope and identity, and self-abasement. Bae's language is poetic without being particularly ornate-a prose style that suits the melancholy first-person musings of her narrator very well. An existential novel for the modern age and, perhaps, especially for South Korea, a trend-driven, status and class-conscious society where political action of any kind all too often seems pointless and "real sel Disquieting little book that touches movingly on themes of social class, poverty, humiliation, loss of hope and identity, and self-abasement.
An existential novel for the modern age and, perhaps, especially for South Korea, a trend-driven, status and class-conscious society where political action of any kind all too often seems pointless and "real selves" a concept invoked frequently in the book risk erasure or fragmentation in a land of many choices but not always much opportunity.
I think this book would be great paired with Han Kang's The Vegetarian on a modern literature syllabus or in a class focusing on women in contemporary societies. The two books cover many of the same issues of identity and share essentially the same setting but are different enough stylistically and thematically that it would be illuminating to study them together. Apr 20, A Reader's Heaven rated it liked it Shelves: short-fiction , net-galley.
I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I think the description above says enough about the aims of this book. As for the writing itself Groups of scenes make up this tale and it is done pretty well. I wouldn't say it was exactly my cup of tea but I did enjoy the experience and thank the publisher for the opportunity to read this.
Paul ARH Jul 06, Teresa rated it it was ok. This feels more like a short story because of its length.
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The length made it difficult for me to form a close connection to the characters. I empathized with the situations that the protagonist faced. I understood her anger and disappointment. But there were multiple moments in which the darkness of the main character's thinking distanced myself from her. But I can still respect her outlook because I've never had to endure winter without a coat or watch my mother lose her job over alcohol. I fel This feels more like a short story because of its length. I felt the woman's internal darkness was justified from her circumstances, but also it disturbed me.
Reading this book was like being inside someone's mind who has gone further down a hole of darkness than I ever have.
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And just for me personally, I didn't enjoy that feeling. The book is nicely written and plotted out well. Just the content was too depressing for my taste. May 10, Mandy rated it really liked it. This haunting and unsettling novella is the story of a young Korean woman in , a turbulent time in Korea, a time of rapid change, the era of the Seoul Olympics and increasing wealth. But none of that touches our unnamed narrator, who wanders aimless and directionless through a series of low-paid jobs as she struggles to support her dysfunctional poverty-stricken family.
Only 24, she seems totally detached from her surrounding s and unable to connect with the people around her. She has a boyf This haunting and unsettling novella is the story of a young Korean woman in , a turbulent time in Korea, a time of rapid change, the era of the Seoul Olympics and increasing wealth. She has a boyfriend but the relationship is a distant one.
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This story was simple, yet so real that I couldn't stop reading. Ok, I know that's not much of a feat since it's only about 60 pages, but I could have read more. This could easily be one story in a series. Basically it's a snapshot in the life of a young woman in a low income family in South Korea.
You get a glimpse into her life and then get to see how she reacts when she has one of those days when everything goes wrong. Most of the story takes place on that day. I loved the writing because eve This story was simple, yet so real that I couldn't stop reading.
I loved the writing because everything feels so real, like you are going through the experience with her. Definitely worth the read. Mar 18, Melinda rated it liked it Shelves: netgalley , read-in This novella tells the story of a young Korean woman on a journey in finding herself while living a poverty-stricken life. This story is a bit depressing, but at the same time eye opening in terms of the little insight we get into the culture of the young protagonist.
She has to deal with an alcoholic mother and living in poverty and yet she still finds love, but loses him. There is so much in this story to ponder about. Apr 05, Angie Reisetter rated it liked it Shelves: firstreads. It's hard to describe what Suah is able to do in this short novella. Her narrator is straightforward and pedestrian, except for her breakout moments of passion and despair. She describes the events of in her life, which seem ordinary but were actually transformative. She looks back on these events from 10 years later, considering what has changed. And what hasn't.
She is searching for her own story, her own identity. I'm not convinced she finds it. But it's an intriguing and powerful novell It's hard to describe what Suah is able to do in this short novella. But it's an intriguing and powerful novella, in the meantime. I got a copy of this from NetGalley. Dead ragdoll, straw insides poking out. May 17, Annie Cole rated it really liked it Shelves: korean.
A very unique style, an honest invitation into the author's psyche and an all in all interesting read.
Dreams collide with fantasies and identities blur but monotony reins. Family members are faceless, emotions are numb and love is absent. What do a chicken carcass, a crow and a hungry dog have in common? Read to find out! Jun 15, Michelle rated it really liked it. An interesting book of one woman's life and how she used everything including her imagination to survive some hard times.
She didn't have a lot of space to herself and had to learn to live with what she had and how to deal with her family and those close quarters. Readers also enjoyed. About Bae Suah. Bae Suah. Originally a government employee at Gimpo Airport in Incheon, Bae wrote stories as a hobby. Books by Bae Suah. Trivia About Nowhere to Be Found. She had become both the narrator and the narrated — an object and a subject. She found neither occupancy to be a romantic status and the more she read about herself, the greater dispossession she felt.
She lost her focus on the story at the same moment that she became a casual reader rather than the vigilant writer. Moving with sudden uneasiness, the writer wondered if her anxiety had transferred to him through their close proximity.
Unknowingly, the writer returned this favor. The writer was almost near the word count: , , Her eyes were now transfixed by the glow of the computer, how its foreboding casted its reflection on her steadily typing hands. The writer again found herself displaced between the virtual interface in front of her, the physical reality of her surroundings and the pseudo-reality that she tapped into through this story-world. And so, with nothing left to say, she ended it. The writer depressed her left shoulder to turn her gaze to the open window beside her.
The atmosphere was hung with a bright yellow haze, yet the sun was absent. The buildings below the skyline were covered in thick, dark shadows and the people there were likewise silhouetted as if in the cover of night. She looked at the digital clock in the opposite corner of the room, which read Whether it was night or late morning, she was unable to discern. Brewing in this confusion, she looked to her writing surface for some solace. But in this desperate attempt the writer was exasperated to find that her computer was no longer there. Instead, the physical space before her became a portal window through which she could see the same scenery that she had just observed a minute ago outside the window.
Her breath became colossal as she reached for the space in front of her. She was disassociated from her present and tranquilized by translucency. The old woman opened her eyes. The pillow was far sunken into the space between the head board and the mattress and she found that her pajama pants had become heavy from the sweat of yet another night fit.