Your Republic Is Calling You by Young-ha Kim

Your Republic Is Calling You

byYoung-ha Kim, Chi-Young Kim

Kobo ebook | September 28, 2010

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A foreign film importer, Gi-yeong is a family man with a wife and daughter. An aficionado of Heineken, soccer, and sushi, he is also a North Korean spy who has been living among his enemies for twenty-one years.
 
Suddenly he receives a mysterious email, a directive seemingly from the home office. He has one day to return to headquarters. He hasn’t heard from anyone in over ten years. Why is he being called back now? Is this message really from Pyongyang? Is he returning to receive new orders or to be executed for a lack of diligence? Has someone in the South discovered his secret identity? Is this a trap?

Spanning the course of one day, Your Republic Is Calling You is an emotionally taut, psychologically astute, haunting novel that reveals the depth of one particularly gripping family secret and the way in which we sometimes never really know the people we love. Confronting moral questions on small and large scales, it mines the political and cultural transformations that have transformed South Korea since the 1980s. A lament for the fate of a certain kind of man and a certain kind of manhood, it is ultimately a searing study of the long and insidious effects of dividing a nation in two.

Title:Your Republic Is Calling YouFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 28, 2010Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0547546971

ISBN - 13:9780547546971

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Korean Lit with a Hint of Canadian Artistry Wow! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading I Have the Right to Destroy Myself, but I loved it. It is a novella about life and living, told from the perspective a man who brings suicide to "clients" he meets, leading them to an end they are happy with and fulfilled by. But it's also a novel about the lives of people who are content to keep living even if they're incapable of loving. Mostly, though, it's a story about living most at the moment of death. And that is what Young-ha Kim gets in a way that so many don't -- death is life. It is not just that death is the inevitable end of life, it is that death is life itself, and that suicide doesn't have to be an act of despair from a hollow or depressed or weak individual. It can be an embracing of life, a meeting of that ultimate moment of life on one's own terms. From Young-ha Kim's perspective, and the perspective of his nameless, faceless narrator, death/suicide is the ultimate artistic expression -- and what is art but a passionate expression of life and living? This book is not for a wide audience, and it will fall into many hands that will revile it and many more hands that simply will not be in a place to embrace it. I Have the Right to Destroy Myself is a piece of antagonistic art, a sort of literary Exotica, a sparing, Egoyan-esque journey through light posing as darkness, and it will someday be held responsible, I have no doubt, for the suicide of some teenager, in some middle class North American town. But if you are someone who knows you are capable of celebrating life in all its complexity, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself is a debut novel that will remind you that there are authors out there who can still feel. And this book will make you feel too.
Date published: 2009-07-05