Drifting House by Krys Lee
* STARRED REVIEW
Krys Lee, whose peregrinations originated and are currently paused in Korea with formative stopovers in the U.S. and England, infuses the nine stories of her breathtaking debut with the consequences of dislocation – whether forced because of war, or chosen by virtue of immigration.
The continuing aftermath of Korean partition sends three starving North Korean siblings on a brutal journey to find their runaway mother in the title story, while a fractured North Korean family struggles to create a new American life in “At the Edge of the World.” In a brave new post-war Korea, a lonely accountant diligently supports his wife and children living overseas in “The Goose Father,” while across the ocean, a Korean divorcée marries a stranger in order to search for her missing daughter in “A Temporary Marriage.”
Verdict: Like Daniyal Mueenuddin, National Book Award and Pulitzer finalist for his debut collection In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Lee, too, enters the literary world fully formed. Readers in search of exquisite short fiction beyond their comfort zone – groupies of Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth, The Interpreter of Maladies) and Yoko Tawada (Where Europe Begins) – will thrill to discover Drifting House.