Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Book review: Recitation by Bae Suah
"After two novellas translated into English (Nowhere to be Found, 2015 and A Greater Music, 2016, the latter reviewed in NYJB) South Korean post-modernist fiction writer Bae Suah and British translator Deborah Smith—who also translated A Greater Music and two novels by Han Kang (The Vegetarian and Human Acts)—return with an even more ambitious full length novel, Recitation, a novel of ideas with frequent philosophical digressions that further develops A Greater Music’s theme of living abroad while also addressing globalization, racial identity, and intolerance. It is a challenging yet cognitively engaging and rewarding read.
"... This is not a book for lazy readers; Bae expects us to show up ready to work. Her handsome prose, however, is never an obstacle.
"... Recitation will make Bae’s anglophone readers and other fans of post-modern fiction eagerly await the publication of more of her novels in English." -- from my review in New York Journal of Books