An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter.
BEASTS OF A LITTLE LAND
by Juhea Kim
Ecco/HarperCollins, December 2021
In 1917, deep in the snowy mountains of occupied Korea, an impoverished local hunter on the brink of starvation saves a young Japanese officer from an attacking tiger. In an instant, their fates are connected—and from this encounter unfolds a saga that spans half a century. In the aftermath, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver’s courtesan school, an act of desperation that will cement her in the lowest social status. When she befriends an orphan boy named JungHo, who scrapes together a living begging on the streets of Seoul, they form a deep friendship. As they come of age, JungHo is swept up in the revolutionary fight for independence, and Jade becomes a sought-after performer with a new romantic prospect of noble birth. Soon Jade must decide whether she will risk everything for the one who would do the same for her.
From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in PyongYang, to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul, to the boreal forests of Manchuria where battles rage, Juhea Kim’s unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation’s. Immersive and elegant, BEASTS OF A LITTLE LAND unveils a world where friends become enemies, enemies become saviors, heroes are persecuted, and beasts take many shapes.
Juhea Kim was born in In Cheon, Korea, and moved to Portland, Oregon, at age nine. Her writing has been published in Granta, Catapult, Joyland, Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She is the founder and editor of Peaceful Dumpling, an online magazine at the intersection of sustainable lifestyle and ecological literature. She earned her BA in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University. After a decade in New York City, Kim now lives with her two rescue cats in Portland, Oregon.