The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun, translated by Sora Kim-Russell [in Booklist]
When Oghi wakes in a hospital room, his world doesn’t align with his last memories. He’s been in a coma after surviving a car accident, but his wife is dead, and he’s completely paralyzed.
At 47, Oghi is parentless and childless, with few friends and colleagues at the university where he teaches. His widowed mother-in-law is now “his only family and legal guardian,” under whose care Oghi is eventually sent home. Silently trapped in his damaged body, Oghi loses all control of what happens around him, to him, and because of him. As he recalls more of what led to the fatal accident, his mother-in-law, too, is learning intimate details about her daughter’s life as Oghi’s wife. The facade of a happy union cracks and crumbles, with terrifying results.
Sora Kim-Russell, one of today’s top Korean-to-English translators, excels at replicating the stifling, unrelenting desperation that Pyun creates for her voiceless protagonist. Winner of many of Korea’s top literary prizes and accolades, Pyun proves to be an effectively chilling storyteller whose expert narrative manipulations should earn new followers.
Published: 2017 (United States)