Your Republic Is Calling You by Young-ha Kim

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Synopsis

A foreign film importer, Gi-yeong is a family man with a wife and daughter. An aficionado of Heineken, soccer, and sushi, he is also a North Korean spy who has been living among his enemies for twenty-one years.
 
Suddenly he receives a mysterious email, a directive seemingly from the home office. He has one day to return to headquarters. He hasn’t heard from anyone in over ten years. Why is he being called back now? Is this message really from Pyongyang? Is he returning to receive new orders or to be executed for a lack of diligence? Has someone in the South discovered his secret identity? Is this a trap?

Spanning the course of one day, Your Republic Is Calling You is an emotionally taut, psychologically astute, haunting novel that reveals the depth of one particularly gripping family secret and the way in which we sometimes never really know the people we love. Confronting moral questions on small and large scales, it mines the political and cultural transformations that have transformed South Korea since the 1980s. A lament for the fate of a certain kind of man and a certain kind of manhood, it is ultimately a searing study of the long and insidious effects of dividing a nation in two.

 

About Young-ha Kim

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YOUNG-HA KIM's Black Flower won Korea's Dong-in Prize; his first novel, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself was highly acclaimed upon publication in the United States. He has earned a reputation as the most talented and prolific Korean writer of his generation, publishing five novels and three collections of short stories.
 
Published September 28, 2010 by Mariner Books. 339 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Your Republic Is Calling You

Kirkus Reviews

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This intense novel’s bristling plot—confined to the events of a single day—ironically echoes that of Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses, in the experiences of Kim (Leopold Bloom), Ma-ri (his wife Molly) and Hyon-mi (Leopold’s ideal “son” Stephen Dedalus).

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Publishers Weekly

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Spanning a single day, this tense spy novel from Kim (I Have the Right to Destroy Myself), marred only by some stilted prose, is also a deeply compelling study of the self and varying themes of trust.

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