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Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023.

A sweeping, multi-generational tale blending fable, farce and fantasy.

“A peerless work devoted to telling a powerful story and lauded for expanding Korean literature into new dimensions.”—The Hankyoreh

“Fast-paced and imaginative.”—Dennis Maloney, Modern Family

A woman sells her daughter to a passing beekeeper for two jars of honey. A baby weighing fifteen pounds is born in the depths of winter but named “Girl of Spring”. A storm brings down the roof of a ramshackle restaurant to reveal a hidden fortune. These are just some of the events that set Myeong-Kwan Cheong’s beautifully crafted, wild world in motion.

Set in a remote village in South Korea, Whale follows the lives of its linked characters: Geumbok, who has been chasing an indescribable thrill ever since she first saw a whale crest in the ocean; her mute daughter, Chunhui, who communicates with elephants; and a one-eyed woman who controls honeybees with a whistle.

Brimming with surprises and wicked humour, Whale is an adventure-satire of epic proportions, by one of international literature’s the most original voices.