By Man Asian Literary Prize winner Kyung-Sook Shin, “a moving delve into a lonely psyche” that follows a neglected young woman’s search for human connection in contemporary Seoul (YZ Chin).
San is twenty-two and alone when she happens upon a job at a flower shop in Seoul’s bustling city center. Haunted by childhood rejection, she stumbles through life–painfully vulnerable, stifled, and unsure. She barely registers to others, especially by the ruthless standards of 1990s South Korea.
Over the course of one hazy, volatile summer, San meets a curious cast of characters: the nonspeaking shop owner, a brash coworker, quiet farmers, and aggressive customers. Fueled by a quiet desperation to jump-start her life, she plunges headfirst into obsession with a passing magazine photographer.
In Violets, best-selling author Kyung-Sook Shin explores misogyny, erasure, and repressed desire, as San desperately searches for both autonomy and attachment in the unforgiving reality of contemporary Korean society.