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MEET THE AUTHOR

MIRINAE LEE




AUTHOR’S BIO




 

이미리내 작가는 한국에서 태어나고 자랐으며 현재 홍콩에 거주하고 있습니다.
그녀의 첫 번째 소설 작품은 Antioch Review에 실렸으며 2019년 최고의 미국 비필수 독서에서 2018년 주목할만한 비필수 독서로 선정되었습니다. 그녀의 두 번째 단편 소설은 2018 소설 부문 편집자 상을 수상했으며 Meridian에 게재되었습니다. 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster은 그녀의 데뷔 소설입니다.

Website: www.mirinaelee.com





EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW PART I



 

What does your name mean?
“Mirinae” means, in traditional Korean, the Milky Way.


What is your favorite English word?
Oh, impossible to pick just one! But if I had to, I would say “zephyr.” It's one of those rare words that sound as well as look beautiful, and its sound fits its meaning perfectly. I love pronouncing and hearing "zephyr."


If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be?
I would love to sit down and chat with Yoo Shi-min (유시민), my favorite Korean non-fiction writer. He has an incredible gift of explaining complicated concepts in clear, simple language, so it would be very fun and educational to talk with him. I would ask him about his favorite books, films, and TV series.


What was your favorite book as a child?
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. It was the first meta-fictional novel I read, and I was blown away. Reading it inside a closet at home, I imagined that I was Bastian as he read the book in his school’s attic, making me feel as if I had become a part of the novel in a parallel narrative - the most transcendental reading experience of my life.


What three books have most influenced you as an author?
- Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich. It taught me how to write violence with a raw, unflinching eye. I’ve never cried so much in my life reading a book.
- Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. A mind-blowing sci-fi novella that was nothing like I’d ever read. It taught me that science fiction novel can be full of soul and emotion.
- The Robber Bride by Margret Atwood. Any novel by Atwood is excellent. A perfect combination of ingenious storytelling and exquisite prose. "


What epitaph will be carved on your professional tombstone?
To be completely honest, I don’t care much about legacy, about how I will be remembered as a writer after I’m gone. When I’m dead, I’m dead! I just want to enjoy my job as much as possible while I’m alive and still writing.


Complete the following line (the opening sentence of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby): "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since..."
“Whenever you feel the world is a big mess of nonsense,” he told me, “just remember that all the things in the world are made of atoms.”
(Inspired by the words of Richard Feynman, a renowned American theoretical physicist.)


What is your next literary project?
I’m working on my second novel, Empire of V. It's the story of a dog trainer who helps dogs with behavioral problems and their adoptive families - inspired by the Korean reality TV show "There Is No Such Thing as a Bad Dog."




FEATURED BOOK : 8 LIVES OF A CENTURY-OLD TRICKSTER





전쟁으로 폐허가 된 한국을 배경으로 한 수많은 사랑, 상실, 생존에 대해 이야기하는 한국 작가 이미래의 데뷔 소설.

북한에서 홀로 탈출한 가장 나이 많은 여성 중 한 명인 그녀의 고모의 이야기에서 영감을 받았으며, 그녀는 한때 살인자, 스파이, 테러리스트, 어머니, 연인, 탈옥수이자 노예였다.

100년 된 사기꾼의 8가지 삶에 대한 이야기.



[dbBOOKS 단독 구매 이벤트] 지금 구매하시면 작가의 친필 사인이 담긴 도서가 출고됩니다!
*기간 : 2023. 8. 31 ~ 선착순 30명 한정, 소진 시 자동 종료


"A dazzling feat of narrative sophistication and historical invention." — Financial Times

"A gripping story set against the backdrop of Korea's turbulent history ... Brilliant and original" — Washington Post

"Enthralling ... Lee keeps readers hooked by expanding Mook's universe." — New York Times Book Review

"Lee’s smart, complex debut" — Kirkus Reviews



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW PART II



What inspired you to write 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster?
The book was inspired by my great-aunt, one of the oldest women to escape alone from North Korea. Her generation lived through the most turbulent times of modern Korea, from the Japanese occupation, through the World War II, the Korean War, to the Cold War. I wanted to create a complex female character and show her dramatic journey to use her wits to survive the unspeakable tragedies of Korean history.


Which of the 8 lives was most fun to write?
“Bring Down the House.” Describing the atrocities that the women suffer in the so-called “Monkey House” was heartbreaking, but writing the twist near the end of the chapter was weirdly exhilarating and cathartic.


What is a trickster?
The trickster in my novel is someone who is not afraid of utilizing whatever means are accessible to her to survive when the rules of civilization fail. She is equipped with her own sense of justice. She does not have regrets, and she does not forgive.


The chapters are like independent short stories that tie cohesively into a central narrative - was that your grand vision from the outset?
The book is a "novel in stories." Though unaware of this literary term at the time, I always wanted to build a novel in which the chapters work as standalone stories but form the life story of one woman when put together. This narrative structure stands for the continuity of life as well as the sense of disunity and confusion caused by tragedies in life.


The book blends elements of action, thriller, romance, history, and social commentary - if you could shelve the book yourself in a bookstore, what aisle would you put it in??
If I had to choose, I would go with literary fiction. Like all genres, literary fiction isn’t airtight as a demarcation, and yet it's still the least banal one that allows you to break or play with the conventions.


If the book were adapted into a film, what actor would be your ideal choice to play the Trickster?
In the film Han Gong-ju (한공주) (2013), I was mesmerized by Chun Woo-hee (천우희), who portrays a survivor of brutal teenage bullying and sexual violence. Ever since I watched the film, the face of Trickster in my head has been that of Chun Woo-hee.





THE AUTHOR’S FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK



THREE BOOKS THAT MOST INFLUENCED THE AUTHOR



OTHER BOOKS YOU MIGHT ENJOY

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