The End of August: A Novel (Hardcover)
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From the National Book Award winning author, an extraordinary, ground-breaking, epic multi-generational novel about a Korean family living under Japanese occupation.
In 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea, Lee Woo-cheol was a running prodigy and a contender for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. But he would have had to run under the Japanese flag.
Nearly a century later, his granddaughter is living in Japan and training to run a marathon herself. She summons Korean shamans to hold an intense, transcendent ritual to connect with Lee Woo-cheol. When his ghost appears, alongside those of his brother Lee Woo-Gun, and their young neighbor, who was forced to become a comfort woman to Japanese soldiers stationed in China during World War II, she must uncover their stories to free their souls. What she discovers is at the heart of this sweeping, majestic novel about a family that endured death, love, betrayal, war, political upheaval, and ghosts, both vengeful and wistful.
A poetic masterpiece that is a feat of historical fiction, epic family saga, and mind-bending story-telling acrobatics, The End of August is a marathon of literature.
About the Author
A Korean author writing in Japanese, Yu Miri has over twenty books to her name. She received Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize, and her novel Tokyo Ueno Station won the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature. After the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, she relocated there and has opened a bookstore and theater space.
Morgan Giles is a literary translator. Her translation of Yu Miri's Tokyo Ueno Station won the 2020 National Book award for Translated Literature. She lives in London.
Praise for The End of August
"Commanding... Yu’s passion for rescuing history from violence is palpable on every page." —Kirkus
“Artful and kinetic…This has a power of its own.” —Publishers Weekly
“Morgan Giles' translation of Yu Miri's The End of August reads at a breathlessly swift pace despite, or because of, the painstakingly meticulous care put into every word and line. Yu's rich storytelling never loses its pace as Giles relays her depiction of the resilience of the Korean nation through the tragic consequences of colonialism that reverberate to this day.” — Anton Hur
Praise for Tokyo Ueno Station and Yu Miri
"Tokyo Ueno Station is a dream: a chronicle of hope, loss, where we've been and where we're going. That Yu Miri could conjure so many realities simultaneously is nothing short of marvelous. The novel astounds, terrifies, and make the unseen concrete--entirely tangible and perennially effervescent, right there on the page." —Bryan Washington, author of Lot and Memorial
"Glorious." —New York Times Book Review
"[A] relatively slim novel that packs an enormous emotional punch, thanks to Yu's gorgeous, haunting writing and Morgan Giles' wonderful translation.... Yu does a magnificent job exploring the effects of all kinds of loss on the human psyche. Tokyo Ueno Station is a stunning novel, and a harsh, uncompromising look at existential despair." —NPR
"Poetic... How Kazu comes to be homeless, and then to haunt the park, is what keeps us reading, trying to understand the tragedy of this ghostly everyman. Deftly translated by Morgan Giles... It is an urgent reminder of the radical divide between rich and poor in postwar Japan." —The Guardian
"Spare, indelible." —O, the Oprah magazine
"A novel of the world we all share — not what we expect from a ghost story but frightening all the same." —Rumaan Alam, Washington Post