Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

73%

15 Critic Reviews

Self-creating honorary Americans and filially pious traditionalists look past one another while sitting in the same room. "Please Look After Mom" makes that not only its poignant theme but its pointed challenge to every one of us.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea—a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation—this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway.

Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.

You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Kyung-Sook Shin

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Kyung-sook Shin is the author of numerous works of fiction and is one of South Korea's most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She has been honored with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France's Prix de l'Inaperçu. Please Look After Mom is her first book to appear in English and will be published in nineteen countries. Currently a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City, she lives in Seoul.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by Vintage. 273 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on May 01 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Please Look After Mom
All: 15 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 05 2011

Partly a metaphor for Korea’s social shift from rural to urban, partly an elegy to the intensity of family bonds as constructed and maintained by self-denying women, this is subdued, tender writing with only rare lapses into sentimentality.

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NY Times

Good
on Apr 01 2011

Shin’s prose, intimate and hauntingly spare in this translation by Chi-Young Kim, moves from first to second and third person, and powerfully conveys grief’s bewildering immediacy.

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NY Times

Above average
on Mar 30 2011

It sold more than a million copies in South Korea, where there may not be a dry hankie left in the land.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Dec 06 2010

...it does sometimes go soggy with pathos...

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WSJ online

Above average
on May 28 2011

Self-creating honorary Americans and filially pious traditionalists look past one another while sitting in the same room. "Please Look After Mom" makes that not only its poignant theme but its pointed challenge to every one of us.

Read Full Review of Please Look After Mom | See more reviews from WSJ online

Entertainment Weekly

Above average
on Mar 30 2011

The picture that emerges, of an unappreciated mother who sacrificed her life for her family, is a tediously familiar one.

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
on Apr 07 2011

Shin's style of writing makes it simple for readers to transpose their own families into such a crushing scenario, and the onslaught of emotion that the narrative evokes is strangely cathartic.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
on Apr 14 2011

...much of the story, which is told from several points of view including Mom's, is pursued in the second person. The tactic produces a sense of immediacy and urgency which delivers a fine accusatory punch...

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Macleans

Excellent
on May 18 2011

By the end of the book, in a masterful combination of South Korean folk tale and Western spirituality, an epiphany experienced by the novelist daughter completes Mom’s transformation entirely.

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Seattle PI

Excellent
on Apr 26 2011

The novel perfectly combines universal themes of love and loss, family dynamics, gender equality, tradition, and charity with the rich Korean culture and values which make Please Look After Mom a great literary masterpiece.

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Cleveland.com

Below average
on May 11 2012

There are worthy sentiments here -- notably that we often fail to appreciate those closest to us -- but they are drummed into dust in this relentless novel.

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BookRack

Above average
on Apr 14 2012

Please Look after Mother is a distinct voice in literature and deserves to be read.

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The Express Tribune

Excellent
on Aug 23 2011

...Shin has written at least half of the novel in the second person narrative — a style that lends itself well to each character’s self-reflective and at times, self-effacing inner dialogue.

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Her Circle Magazine

Below average
on Aug 01 2012

The atmosphere of the novel is tense, sometimes uncomfortably so...

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Publishing Perspective

Good
on Aug 04 2011

Never over-sentimental, Please Look After Mom succeeds as a sensitive and powerful examination of the selflessness of parental love.

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Reader Rating for Please Look After Mom
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 585 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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