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Almond by Won-Pyung Sohn
by Won-Pyung Sohn

Price: $16.99


New York, NY: Harper Via (2021)


As new.

A teenage boy who cannot feel emotions and a hotheaded troublemaker discover how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever in this remarkable debut novel from a rising international literary star. "Intense and moving . . . a phenomenal book that deserves a wide audience among readers." —Wall Street Journal

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster.

One of the monsters is me.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother provide him with a safe and con- tent life.

On Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school, and the two develop a surprising bond.

As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life at risk, Yunjae will have the chance to step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become the hero of his own story.

Won-pyung Sohn earned a bachelor’s degree at Sogang University and studied film directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. She won the Film Review Award of the 6th Cine21 in 2001. Almond is her debut novel and it won the Changbi Prize, immediately garnering rave reactions from the readers. Her next work, Born in 1988 won the Jeju 4.3 Peace Literary Award. She is active in both movie and literary scenes as a film director, screenwriter, and novelist.

Sandy Joosun Lee is a translator and interpreter based in Seoul. She earned a BA in Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego. She has received translation grants from Literary Translation Institute of Korea and Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea. She currently works at Studio Mir where she translates and develops animated content.

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