Kyung-Sook Shin - Please Look After Mother - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297860754
    • Publication date:14 Apr 2011

Please Look After Mother

By Kyung-Sook Shin

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Combining a unique setting with universal themes, PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER is a beautifully rendered novel about sacrifice, guilt, and the ties of family love.

Combining a unique setting with universal themes, PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER is a beautifully rendered novel about sacrifice, guilt, and the ties of family love.

PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER is the story of So-nyo, a wife and mother, who has lived a life of sacrifice and compromise. In the past she suffered a stroke, leaving her vulnerable and often confused. Now, travelling from the Korean countryside to the Seoul of her grown-up children, So-nyo is separated from her husband when the doors close on a packed train.

As her children and husband search the streets, they recall So-nyo's life, and all they have left unsaid. Through their piercing voices, we begin to discover the desires, heartaches, and secrets she harboured within. And as the mystery of her disappearance unravels, we uncover a larger mystery, that of all mothers and children: how affection, exasperation, hope and guilt add up to love. Compassionate, redemptive and beautifully written, PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER will reconnect you to the story of your own family, and to the forgotten sacrifices that lie at its heart.

Biographical Notes

Kyung-sook Shin is the author of 6 novels in addition to Please Look After Mother, which will be published in 19 countries, and has sold almost 1.5 million copies in South Korea alone. She is one of the country's most widely read and acclaimed novelists, having won the Manhae Grand Prize for Literature, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Isang Literary Prize, as well as France's Prix de l'Inaperçu. She lives in Seoul and in New York.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780753828182
  • Publication date: 15 Mar 2012
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: W&N
Intimate and hauntingly spare. . . . A raw tribute to the mysteries of motherhood — NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
A moving portrayal of the surprising nature, sudden sacrifices, and secret reveries of motherhood — ELLE
The most moving and accomplished, and often startling, novel in translation I've read in many seasons ... Every sentence is saturated in detail ... It tells an almost unbearably affecting story of remorse and belated wisdom that reminds us how globalism-at the human level-can tear souls apart and leave them uncertain of where to turn — WALL STREET JOURNAL
A captivating story, written with an understanding of the shortcomings of traditional ways of modern life. It is nostalgic but unsentimental, brutally well observed and, in this flawlessly smooth translation by Chi-Young Kim, it offers a sobering account of a vanished past. ... We must hope there will be more translations to follow — TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
This story about family, hope and guilt has universal reach. — Big Issue in the North
Tender, thoughtful and well-crafted... — Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
I found what is in one sense a terribly sad book, life-affirming, portraying the sorrows and joys of the parent-child relationship, familiar whether you live in rural South Korea, or South London — THE TIMES
Full of emotion, this beautifully written book is like nothing I have ever read before and I thoroughly recommend it. — South Wales Argus
a captivating story, written with an understanding of the shortcomings of traditional ways and modern life. It is nostalgic but unsentimental, brutally well observed and, in this flawlessly smooth translation by Chi-Young Kim, it offers a sobering account of a vanished past... We must hope there are more translations to follow. — THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
The universal resonance of family life lifts a novel rooted in the experience of Korean modernity to international success. A best-seller in her native South Korea, Shin's Please Look After Mom tells the story of Park So-nyo, a devoted, do-all wife and mother who mysteriously goes missing... the book-Shin's first to be translated into English- is a moving portrayal of the surprising nature, sudden sacrifices, and secret reveries of motherhood. — Lisa Shea, Elle
An enormous publishing success in South Korea, this simple portrait of a family shocked into acknowledging the strength and heroic self-sacrifice of the woman at its center is both universal and socially specific... 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 tender writing. — Kirkus Reviews
ndelible... Shin's breathtaking novel is an acute reminder of how easily a family can fracture, how little we truly know one another, and how desperate need can sometimes overshadow even the deepest love.... Already a prominent writer in Korea, Shin makes her English-language debut with what will appeal to all readers who appreciate compelling, page-turning prose. Stay tuned: [Please Look After Mother] should be one of this year's most deserving bestsellers. — Terry Hong, Library Journal
what the characters and readers of... South Korean author Kyung-sook Shin discover is that in the mother's absence she is only more powerfully present. — REUTERS
Kyung-Sook Shin's tale.. has hit a nerve.. it certainlytaps the universal tendency to take one's mother for granted. — THE GUARDIAN

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani grew up in the eastern part of Nigeria, among the Igbo speaking people-the major culprits of 419 scams . She lives in Nigeria. I DO NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE is her first novel. It won a Betty Trask Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa), and was a finalist for the 2010 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

Amy MacKinnon

Amy MacKinnon, a former congressional aide, is a freelance writer whose commentaries have appeared in theSeattle Times, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Patriot Ledger and on National Public Radio and This American Life. She lives in Marshfield, Massachusetts with her husband and their three young children.

Catriona McCloud

Catriona McCloud was born in South Queensferry, Scotland, and educated at Edinburgh University. She lives on a farm in a beautiful valley in Galloway.

Donna Hay

Donna Hay's first novel, 'Waiting in the Wings', won her the RNA New Writers' Award, and since then she has attracted praise from critics for 'Kiss & Tell', 'Such a Perfect Sister', 'Some Kind of Hero', 'Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday' and 'No Place for a Woman'. She writes regularly for TV TIMES and WHAT'S ON TV magazine. She lives in York with her husband and daughter.

Elise Chidley

Elise Chidley is South African by birth but now lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children. She has written short stories and has been shortlisted for the Nadine Gordimer award and the Ian St James awards.

Elizabeth Haydon

Having travelled the world extensively Elizabeth Haydon now lives on the East coast of America with her family. She is an editor in educational publishing. In her spare time she plays music.

Ella Griffin

Ella Griffin was born in Dublin. She was an award-winning advertising copywriter before she took the leap into fiction. She has written three novels since 2011. She writes about love and loss and loves making readers laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page.) Ella lives with her husband in County Wicklow in Ireland.You can find Ella at, Facebook/EllaGriffinAuthor and @EllaGriffin1

Gemma Townley

Gemma Townley is the author of five previous novels. Before turning to fiction Gemma worked in magazines. She now lives in London with her husband, Mark, and two children.

H.C. Carlton

Harold Carlton sketched the Paris collections for many years for the Sunday Times, the Observer and other publications including Elle magazine. He worked as assistant designer for two Paris maisons de couture, Nina Ricci and Courreges. Subsequently he illustrated Mademoiselle magazine and the New York Times and wrote for the Village Voice. He returned to London to become Menswear Editor of the Sunday Times. He is the author of Labels, which sold more than 1 million copies Stateside.

Holly Lisle

Holly Lisle lives and works in the USA - she is the author of a number of successful fantasy novels and has collaborated with many household names.

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. Twitter @Beathhigh

J.G. Farrell

J.G. Farrell was born in Liverpool in 1935 and spent a good deal of his life abroad, including periods in France and North America, and then settled in London where he wrote most of his novels.Among his novels, TROUBLES won the Faber Memorial Prize in 1970 and the Lost Man Booker prize in 2010 and THE SIEGE OF KRISHNAPUR won the Booker Prize in 1973.In April 1979 he went to live in County Cork where only four months later he was drowned in a fishing accident.

James A. Levine

James A. Levine is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. In collaboration with the United Nations, James has focused his work on the plight of women and children in low-income countries. For his scientific work, Dr. Levine has regularly appeared on CNN, BBC, CBC and the Discovery Channel, and has been repeatedly featured in the NEW YORK TIMES, USE TODAY, TIME, WALL STREET JOURNAL, US NEWS, THE TIMES and many other major US and international papers.

Jean Fullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of seven historical novels. She is a qualified District and Queen's nurse who has spent most of her working life in the East End of London, first as a Sister in charge of a team, and then as a District Nurse tutor. She is also a qualified teacher and spent twelve years lecturing on community nursing studies at a London university. She now writes full-time. Find out more at

Joe R Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and six Bram Stoker Awards. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas.

John Marco

John Marco has worked in various industries including aviation, computers and home security. He now writes full time. He lives on Long Island in the USA.

Joseph Boyden

Joseph Boyden is the author of a collection of stories. he is a regular contributor to a number of magazines in Canada. He divides his time between Ontario and Louisiana, where he teaches English at the University of New Orleans.

Julie Walters

Julie Walters was nominated for an Oscar for Educating Rita, having made the part her own on stage, and starred in Billy Elliot. She is Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter films, and co-starred with Helen Mirren in Calendar Girls. Versatile enough to appear both as Mrs Overall in her friend Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques as well as the sexy Wife of Bath in the BBC's adaptation of The Canterbury Tales, she is 'arguably the nation's best-loved actress' (Sunday Times).

Kerry Reichs

Kerry Reichs is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Oberlin College, Duke University School of Law and Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Kerry practiced law in Washington, DC for six years prior to settling down to write novels. She currently lives in DC and Los Angeles. Kerry has been a maid of honour five times, a bridesmaid five times and a reader twice. She has never been married.

Kunal Basu

Kunal Basu was born in Calcutta but has spent much of his adult life in Canada and the USA. He currently teaches at Oxford and McGill universities.