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KIM SAGWA discusses her new book MINA, with CHIWAN CHOI

Mina (Two Lines Press)

“She doesn’t know what to do, and that amounts to a state of torture.”

Crystal toils day and night to earn top grades at her cram school. She’s also endlessly texting, shopping, drinking, vexing her boyfriends, cranking up her mp3s, and fantasizing about her next slice of cheesecake. Her non-stop frenzy never quite manages the one thing that might calm her down: opening up about the pressures that are driving her to the edge. She certainly hasn’t talked with her best friend, Mina, nor Mina’s brother, whom she’s developing a serious crush on. And Crystal’s starting to lose her grip.

In this shocking English debut, award-winning Korean author Kim Sagwa delivers an astonishingly complex portrait of modern-day adolescence. With pitch-perfect dialogue and a precise eye for detail, Kim creates a piercingly real teen protagonist–at once powerful, vulnerable, and utterly confused. As one bad decision leads to another, this promising life spirals to a devastating climax.

Praise for Mina

Mina gets to the core of Korean teenagers. Kim Sagwa’s fragmented rhetoric stands for a generation that has no choice but to set imitation as its standard. The novel, which points out a universal desire for unattainable genuineness, focuses on teenagers while at the same time shining light on Korean society at large. Readers open their eyes wide to the agonizing violence of a character torn up by the inability to bear self-deception.” — Han Yujoo, author of The Impossible Fairy Tale

“For Mina, Minho, and Crystal, three Korean teens, the methodical quality of everyday life quickly fractures into myriad jagged directions. Sagwa writes with subtlety not just about the cram school experience, but about the thin line between apathy and violence. Rarely do I read a book so expertly suffused with the angst, anger, and instability of adolescence.” — Sara Balabanlilar, Brazos Bookstore

“I highly recommend Kim Sagwa’s explosive and powerful debut novel Mina, translated from the Korean by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. In Mina, Sagwa perfectly captures the pressures faced by Korean teens Mina, her brother Minho, and best friend Crystal. This is an unforgettable book and I look forward to reading more of Sagwa’s writing in the future.” — Caitlin L. Baker, University Book Store in Seattle

Kim Sagwa is one of South Korea’s most acclaimed emerging writers. She is the author of several novels, story collections, and works of nonfiction, and has been shortlisted for numerous literary awards. She lives in New York City.

Chiwan Choi is the author of 3 books of poetry, The Flood (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012), and The Yellow House (CCM, 2017). He wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The New York Times MagazineONTHEBUSEsquire.com, and The Nervous Breakdown. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press, a Los Angeles based indie publisher, focused on using literary arts to resist, disrupt, and transgress. Chiwan was born in Seoul, Korea, spent his early childhood in Asunción, Paraguay, and now splits his time between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Mina Cover Image
By Kim Sagwa, Bruce Fulton (Translator), Ju-Chan Fulton (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781931883740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Lines Press - October 8th, 2018

The Yellow House Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781937865818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Civil Coping Mechanisms - February 22nd, 2017

Abductions Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780981483634
Availability: Special Order
Published: Writ Large Press - March 1st, 2012

The Flood Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781882688395
Availability: Special Order
Published: Tia Chucha - April 29th, 2010