There a Petal Silently Falls: Three Stories by Ch'oe Yun

Yun Choe, Author, Ch'oe Yun, Author, Bruce Fulton, Translator
Yun Choe, Author, Ch'oe Yun, Author, Bruce Fulton, Translator , trans. from the Korean by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. Columbia Univ. $24.50 (200p) ISBN 978-0-231-14296-0
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Open Ebook - 199 pages - 978-0-231-51242-8
Open Ebook - 199 pages - 978-1-280-59890-6
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Three slim works in translation—one from Korea and two from Eastern Europe.

There a Petal Silently Falls: Three Stories by Ch'oe Yun Ch'oe Yun , trans. from the Korean by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. Columbia Univ. , $24.50 (208p) ISBN 978-0-231-14296-0

Stories within stories unfold in the title novella: a brother “disappears,” a mother grieves, a daughter witnesses her mother's death; consequent traumatic events leave the daughter self-destructive. The novella is haunting, painful and affirming, full of illusions and hallucinations while rooted in the graphically physical. In “Whisper Yet,” a woman's thoughts about her daughter alternate with a story from her own childhood that she's never told anyone before, a device through which three generations and two Koreas coexist. In “The Thirteen-Scent Flower,” the world is one that slides deftly from fable to satire as a truck driver who dreams of becoming “a denizen of the Arctic” crosses paths with a suicidal teenage girl with a preternaturally green thumb. Everything about Yun's work is brilliant. (May)

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