Your Republic Is Calling You

Your Republic Is Calling You

Young-ha Kim

Language: English

Pages: 326

ISBN: 0151015457

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A foreign film importer, Gi-yeong is a family man with a wife and daughter. An aficionado of Heineken, soccer, and sushi, he is also a North Korean spy who has been living among his enemies for twenty-one years.
 
Suddenly he receives a mysterious email, a directive seemingly from the home office. He has one day to return to headquarters. He hasn’t heard from anyone in over ten years. Why is he being called back now? Is this message really from Pyongyang? Is he returning to receive new orders or to be executed for a lack of diligence? Has someone in the South discovered his secret identity? Is this a trap?

Spanning the course of one day, Your Republic Is Calling You is an emotionally taut, psychologically astute, haunting novel that reveals the depth of one particularly gripping family secret and the way in which we sometimes never really know the people we love. Confronting moral questions on small and large scales, it mines the political and cultural transformations that have transformed South Korea since the 1980s. A lament for the fate of a certain kind of man and a certain kind of manhood, it is ultimately a searing study of the long and insidious effects of dividing a nation in two.

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door. She tosses the roll call book onto the lectern. The kids call her Soji, not by her full name, So Ji-hyon. She's used to the nickname. When she was in school, there was a girl named Maeng Ji-son, and their friends referred to her as Maengji, while she was called Soji. She often thinks that Soji is preferable to such a common name like Ji-hyon. The kids scurry back to their seats. If it were nice outside, everyone would frown at the thick dust floating around the classroom, but it isn't

dropped the charges. The day L.A. burned up, she told Ki-yong the whole story, and afterward they went to a motel as naturally as if they were old lovers. Ki-yong wondered for a second whether he was going to have to lie down on the bathroom floor in Uncle's place, whether that was what she secretly liked. But it wasn't. She just needed someone who would listen. Her lust was born from the excitement of confession, and Ki-yong happened to be there when she broke her silence. "After that, Uncle

returned to Pyongyang in 1959, immediately becoming a functionary in the hydropower department of the Pyongyang Electric Power Design Office. Ki-yong's father, a returned POW, and his mother, a member of the Workers Party of Korea, were a most unlikely pair. Ki-yong never heard the story of how they met. Nobody spoke of it. In any case, they met and married. Their relationship didn't seem to have been forced on them. If his father's status had been higher, that might have been a possibility.

by side on the sofa and drank beer, snacking on dried squid and seaweed. Jong-hun ventured, "I still don't really care for seaweed, since we never ate it growing up." "Yeah, you're right—they didn't grow it in the North. But when you get used to it you really end up liking it. Do you want something else?" "Do you have dried fish or something like that?" Ki-yong brought out dried pollack. The South Korean team, led by Coach Hiddink, was giving the Portuguese a run for their money. "Remember

doesn't lower her guard toward Ma-ri. The cop, unable to continuously ignore Ma-ri's chilly presence, finally asks, "Can I help you?" She tries as hard as she can to remain calm, and enunciates clearly, "This car almost ran me over in the crosswalk." The policeman looks at her cast-bound arm, then her face. "So are you hurt?" "No, I wasn't hurt, but I almost died," Ma-ri says, becoming indignant. The girl in Prada interjects. "Look, lady, that's because you jumped out when the light wasn't

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