I'll Be Right There

I'll Be Right There

A Novel

Paperback - 2013
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How friendship, European literature, and a charismatic professor defy war, oppression, and the absurd

Set in 1980s South Korea amid the tremors of political revolution, I'll Be Right There follows Jung Yoon, a highly literate, twenty-something woman, as she recounts her tragic personal history as well as those of her three intimate college friends. When Yoon receives a distressing phone call from her ex-boyfriend after eight years of separation, memories of a tumultuous youth begin to resurface, forcing her to re-live the most intense period of her life. With profound intellectual and emotional insight, she revisits the death of her beloved mother, the strong bond with her now-dying former college professor, the excitement of her first love, and the friendships forged out of a shared sense of isolation and grief.

Yoon's formative experiences, which highlight both the fragility and force of personal connection in an era of absolute uncertainty, become immediately palpable. Shin makes the foreign and esoteric utterly familiar- her use of European literature as an interpreter of emotion and experience bridges any gaps between East and West. Love, friendship, and solitude are the same everywhere, as this book makes poignantly clear.
Publisher: New York : Other Press, 2013.
ISBN: 9781590516737
Characteristics: 325 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Shin, Kyung-sook
Alternative Title: I will be right there


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From Library Staff

Korean novelist Shin returns with another beautifully written novel, this time set during the tumultuous 80s of South Korea. Her lead character Jung Yoon thoughtfully unfolds the story of her youth and the relationships that were most dear to her in her formative years. As a university student sh... Read More »

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lilacviolette Feb 11, 2018

Whenever I refer to a certain time as 'long ago', I feel like I am walking somewhere. Maybe those things that we realize only after so much time has passed that we can describe them as 'long ago' are what we are made of.

lilacviolette Feb 11, 2018

Writers who died before the age of thirty-three...I savored the words in my head.
"You're probably now wondering why thirty-three. That's the age at which Jesus was crucified and Alexander the Great created his empire and died. After thirty-three, you can't really say you're young anymore. And don't we say that someone has died young when they die before the age of thirty-three? For artists, an early death is sometimes an honor."

Jul 13, 2017

Life demands sacrifice & difficult decisions from us at every moment. Living does not mean passing through a void of nothingness but rather through a web of relationships among beings, each with their own weight & volume & texture. Insofar as everything is always changing, so our sense of hope shall never die out. Therefore, I leave you all with one final thought: Live. Until you are down to your final breath, love & fight & rage & grieve & live.

Feb 06, 2015

Do not grieve for me. All things must come to an end--youth, pain, passion, emptiness, war, violence. Do the flowers not bloom and fade? Just as I came into being so must I pass out of existence. Look up to the sky. That's where the stars are. They are always shining there, whether we are gazing up at them, and whether we forget, and long after we die.

Feb 06, 2015

We all stare at the walls and complain of loneliness. All we have to do is turn around, but instead we keep our faces to the walls.


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lilacviolette Feb 11, 2018

A poignant examination of the enduring legacy of grief and loss. Kyung-Sook Shin's work is always beautiful and lyrically written and this is no different. This book feels like a continuation of "The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness", even though it features different characters. Highly recommended whether or not you have read any of Shin's work before.


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Feb 06, 2015

kn1226 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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