Once the Shore, Paul Yoon
2010 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2009
Publishers Weekly’s 100 Best Books of 2009
NPR’s Best Debut Fiction of 2009
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 2009 Holiday Books
Winner of the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares
Spanning over half a century—from the years just before the Korean War to the present—the eight stories in this collection reveal an intricate and unforgettable portrait of a single island in the South Pacific. Novelistic in scope, daring in its varied environments,Once the Shore introduces a remarkable new voice in international fiction.
Paul Yoon is the author of the story collection, Once the Shore, and the novel, Snow Hunters, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award. He is the recipient of a fellowship from The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and his work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, VQR, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Short Stories. A second collection, The Mountain, will be published later this year. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the fiction writer Laura van den Berg, and teaches creative writing at Harvard University.
What critics have to say about Once the Shore:
"So persuasive are Yoon's powers of invention that I went searching for his Solla Island somewhere off the mainland of South Korea—not realizing that it exists only in this breathtaking collection of eight interlinked stories...Yoon's writing results in a fully formed, deftly executed debut. The lost lives, while heartbreaking, prove illuminating in Yoon's made-up world, so convincing and real. To read is truly to believe."
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Paul Yoon writes stories the way Fabergé made eggs: with untold craftsmanship, artistry, and delicacy. Again and again another layer of intricacy is revealed, proving that something as small as a story can be as satisfying and moving as a Russian novel.”
“These are lovely stories, rendered with a Chekhovian elegance. They span from post–World War II to the new millennium, with characters of different ethnicities, yet each story has a timelessness and relevance that's haunting and unforgettable. Yoon is a sparkling new writer to welcome and celebrate.”
“These are splendid stories, at once lyrical and plain-spoken and full of unusual realities. Once the Shore is a kind of fantastic Korean gazetteer that tours us confidently through unpredictable incidents and often startling conversations—Paul Yoon’s writing is erotic, haunting, original and worldly.”