Translated from the original Korean by Anton Hur
Love in the Big City is an energetic, joyful, and moving novel that depicts both the glittering nighttime world of Seoul and the bleary-eyed morning-after. Young is a cynical yet fun-loving Korean student who pinballs from home to class to the beds of recent Tinder matches. He and Jaehee, his female best friend, frequent nearby bars where they push away their anxieties about their love lives, families, and money with rounds of soju and Marlboro Reds. Over time, even Jaehee leaves Young to settle down, leaving him alone to care for his ailing mother and to find companionship in his relationships with a series of men, including one whose handsomeness is matched by his coldness, and another who might end up being the great love of his life. Love in the Big City is an exploration of millennial loneliness as well as the joys of queer life, that should appeal to readers of Sayaka Murata, Han Kang, and Cho Nam-Joo.
About the Author/Translator:
Sang Young Park is a writer of short stories, screenplays, and newspaper columns, an office worker by day whose influences range from Agatha Christie to Roxane Gay. Born in 1988, he won the New Writers Award in 2016 for his first story, and his debut collection, published in 2018, went into a third print run within a month of publication. Love in the Big City was long-listed for the Booker International prize. He lives in Seoul.
Anton Hur was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He has translated Man Asia Literary Prize-winner Kyung-Sook Shin’s The Court Dancer and Violets, Booker International Prize-longlisted Hwang Sok-yong’s The Prisoner, and others. He won a PEN/Heim grant for his translation of Bora Chung’s Cursed Bunny. He is the translator of Booker International-longlisted Love in the Big City (by Sang Young Park) and Booker International-shortlisted Cursed Bunny (by Bora Chung). He is also a featured author in Tilted Axis’s forthcoming anthology Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays in Translation (edited by Dr Kavita Bhanot & Jeremy Tiang). He lives in Seoul.
Nominating Library’s Comments:
The novel follows the life of a young gay man in Seoul. It delves into identity, growth, pain through a queer lens. The story is set in Seoul but has a western sensibility. It is relatable and universal for readers of all background. The narrative is simple but intense and sensory with both humour and emotion. And there is in the end surprising poignancy and depth. Award-winning for its unique literary voice and perspective. The translation is great. – Bucheon City Library, Republic of Korea