I Went to See My Father

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399611718

Price: £16.99

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Soon after losing her own daughter in a tragic accident, Hon returns to her childhood home in the Korean countryside after many years away. Her father, a cattle farmer, is elderly and requires her care. He is withdrawn, kind but awkward around his own daughter.

As time passes however, Hon realises that her father is far more complex than she ever realised. The discovery of a chest of letters and conversations with his family and friends help Hon piece together the tumultuous story of his life. She learns of her father’s experiences during the Korean War and the violence of the 19th April Revolution; of a love affair and involvement in a religious sect; of his sacrifice and heroism and of the phantoms that haunt him. As she unravels secret after secret, Hon grows closer to her father, realising that his lifelong kindness belies a past wrought in both private and national trauma.

More than just the portrait of one man, I Went to See My Father opens a window onto humankind, family, loss and war. It asks us to look at the ones we love, uncover the secrets they keep, and finally see who they really are. Flawlessly rendered by award-winning translator Anton Hur, Kyung-Sook Shin has crafted a novel both affectionate and epic, joyous and lasting.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reviews

I Went to See My Father features the author's hallmark emotional richness combined with a precision of language that pierces the soul. Just as Shin's Please Look After Mother gives a voice to the forgotten mother, this novel vividly shows the father as a figure whom we often overlook. Shin guides us on a journey of heartache to literary catharsis
Sang Young Park
A book that makes you hurt all over and smile at the same time. The experience being shared is so immediately relatable, so universal yet Korean, so beautiful and powerful at the same time
Kim Hyesoon
Once more, Shin masterfully glides between quotidian details and astounding feats of survival revealed through multiple voices (older brothers, their mother, a wartime friend) and formats (letters, recordings, long chat messages) to create another universally empathic masterpiece
Terry Hong, Booklist, starred review
Gentle yet piercing . . . [I Went to See My Father is a] sensitively crafted family portrait that's both specific and universal and, above all, humane
Kirkus Reviews
Shin threads together a lyrical family drama and the multi-layered spectrum of Korean history in a compelling epic. It is not only a story of love and pain between father and daughter, but of how memories can heal tragic wounds and restore damaged relationships. A powerful, elegant, page-turner
J.M. Lee
This is a book which reminds us that we all suffer from the same wounds, that no individual is free from the pains of their geography and that the greatest losses can only be healed where they all begin
Defne Suman