Posted 20 hours ago

Cursed Bunny: Shortlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize

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If you were the kind of child who was enthralled by Scary Stories to Read in the Dark, Bora Chung writes for you. Like the work of Carmen Maria Machado and Aoko Matsuda, Chung’s stories are so wonderfully, blisteringly strange and powerful that it's almost impossible to put Cursed Bunnydown. In short, this collection may, in fact, be a cursed object in the best possible way.”

Billed as a weird collection of genre-bending short stories, the International Booker Prize shortlisted Cursed Bunny made waves in 2022 upon the release of its English translation. It received recognition for its bold, disturbing, and thought-provoking stories. Bora Chung undoubtedly has a vivid imagination. These stories cross many worlds and experiences, often with little to no context or explanation. For readers that can embrace that ambiguity, this will surely compel them. I am not such a reader.

Haven’t finished reading: Janusz Zajdel was a Polish nuclear physicist and a SF writer with an amazing dystopian vision. I started reading his novel entitled Van Troff’s Cylinder ( Cylinder Van Troffa, 1980) but then I started translating other Polish books at the same time and got busy with deadline etc and had to stop reading and focus on the translation first. This happens all the time. But I was translating Polish books at the time so Zajdel would’ve understood, I hope. Should really finish the Cylinder though. Cursed Bunny is on relatively new press Honford Star , who specialize in translating literature from East Asia. They are a reader’s dream: They employ East Asian artists to design their covers, and the books themselves are published in East Asia and they are robust. Plus there’s French flaps (I can’t resist those)

This short story collection is like a car crash you can't look away from: grotesque in the best way…Each story is fantastically unique, and unlike anything I've ever read before.” This layout of the human mouth was hanging on the wall. I remember the five basic tastes that the human tongue can discern, written around the picture of the tongue. I was maybe five or six. The first story (actually 2nd in the original) Head (머리) won the 1998 Yonsei Literature Prize, and was the author’s (successful) attempt to write a fantastical story in the style of Eastern European authors, the author herself having translated Bruno Schulz into Korean. It begins with a woman about to flush the toilet when she sees a head popping out, calling out to her ‘Mother’Bora Chung Soars with a provocative collection of stories. ...remarkable... The 10 stories are beyond imagination: breathtaking, wild, crazy, the most original fiction I have ever encountered. …each more astounding than the last.”

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