A sweeping, multi-generational tale blending fable, farce and fantasy.
“A peerless work devoted to telling a powerful story and lauded for expanding Korean literature into new dimensions.”—The Hankyoreh
“Fast-paced and imaginative.”—Dennis Maloney, Modern Family
A woman sells her daughter to a passing beekeeper for two jars of honey. A baby weighing fifteen pounds is born in the depths of winter but named “Girl of Spring”. A storm brings down the roof of a ramshackle restaurant to reveal a hidden fortune. These are just some of the events that set Myeong-Kwan Cheong’s beautifully crafted, wild world in motion.
Set in a remote village in South Korea, Whale follows the lives of its linked characters: Geumbok, who has been chasing an indescribable thrill ever since she first saw a whale crest in the ocean; her mute daughter, Chunhui, who communicates with elephants; and a one-eyed woman who controls honeybees with a whistle.
Brimming with surprises and wicked humour, Whale is an adventure-satire of epic proportions, by one of international literature’s the most original voices.
Cheon Myeong-kwan is a South Korean novelist and screenwriter. Upon publication of his first story, “Frank and I” (2003), he received the prestigious Munhakdongne New Writer Award. His debut novel, Whale, was published the following year, won the 10th Munhakdongne Novel Award and became one of the most loved novels in South Korea, where it is regarded as a modern classic. His work has been translated into eight languages.