The Disaster Tourist
Translated from the Korean by Lizzie Buehler
Yona has been stuck behind a desk for years working as a programming coordinator for Jungle, a travel company specialising in package holidays to destinations ravaged by disaster. When a senior colleague touches her inappropriately she tries to complain, and in an attempt to bury her allegations, the company make her an attractive proposition: a free ticket for one of their most sought-after trips, to the desert island of Mui.
She accepts the offer and travels to the remote island, where the major attraction is a supposedly-dramatic sinkhole. When the customers who’ve paid a premium for the trip begin to get frustrated, Yona realises that the company has dangerous plans to fabricate an environmental catastrophe to make the trip more interesting, but when she tries to raise the alarm, she discovers she has put her own life in danger.
The Disaster Tourist is a satirical Korean eco-thriller with a fierce feminist sensibility.
About the Author/Translator
Yun Ko-eun is the author of several novels and short story collections published in South Korea. She is a recipient of the Hankyoreh Literary Award, the Lee Hyo-seok Literary Award, and the Kim Yong-ik Literary Award. The Disaster Tourist is her second book to be published in English. She lives in Seoul, South Korea.
Lizzie Buehler studied comparative literature at Princeton University and holds an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa. Her writing and short translations appear in Asymptote, Azalea Magazine, Litro, The Massachusetts Review, and Translation Review.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
The Disaster Tourist is an eco thriller with a strong feminist sensibility. Its fresh new voice offers readers entertaining reading experience while engaging with the global dialogues around climate activism and dark tourism. This witty and absurd, then suspenseful, even horror-filled story speaks volume about human selfishness, climate crisis, capitalism and exploitation, travel ethics, and modern workplace issues. Bucheon City Library(Sangdong), South Korea