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White Chrysanthemum - Mary Lynn Bracht

White Chrysanthemum - Mary Lynn Bracht

Vintage UK

Regular price €7,95 EUR
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Our take

In this brilliant debut novel, Mary Lynn Bracht, an American writer of Korean descent, shines a light on Korean “comfort women” - women abducted and forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II. These women’s stories have long been overlooked, as the Japanese government only acknowledged their existence in 1993 and officially recognised their use by the army in 2015. This novel prevents these stories from fading into oblivion and shows how the suffering of these women has affected their families and society at large and still shapes lives today. If you enjoyed Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko”, which also brushes upon “comfort women”, this book will be perfect for you.

Publisher's description

'Look for your sister after each dive. Never forget. If you see her, you are safe.'

Hana and her little sister Emi are part of an island community of haenyo, women who make their living from diving deep into the sea off the southernmost tip of Korea.

One day Hana sees a Japanese soldier heading for where Emi is guarding the day's catch on the beach. Her mother has told her again and again never to be caught alone with one. Terrified for her sister, Hana swims as hard as she can for the shore.

So begins the story of two sisters suddenly and violently separated by war. Moving between Hana in 1943 and Emi as an old woman today, White Chrysanthemum takes us into a dark and devastating corner of history - and two women whose love for one another is strong enough to triumph over the evils of war.

Praise and awards

Winner of the Writers' Guild Award for Best Debut Novel
Longlisted for the Authors' Club First Novel Award

Masterfully crafted, Bracht's mesmerizing debut novel is rich with historical detail and depth of emotion. this is a memorable story about the courage of Korean women during the Second World War
Publishers' Weekly

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