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  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529110869
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.00

Untold Night and Day




A seductive, disorienting story about multiple identities -- unfolding over a day and a night in the sweltering heat of Seoul's summer -- for readers of Han Kang's THE VEGETARIAN and Samanta Schweblin's FEVER DREAM

A seductive, disorienting, and wholly original story about parallel lives, unfolding over a day and a night in the sweltering heat of Seoul's summer.

For two years, 28-year-old Kim Ayami has worked at Seoul's only audio theatre for the blind. But Ayami has just been made redundant, and thinking about the future feels like staring into the unknown.

Open to anything, Ayami spends a night in the company of her former boss, searching for a mutual friend who has disappeared, and the following day looking after a visiting poet who turns out to be not what he seems. Walking the streets of the city with each man in turn, Ayami talks about art, love and the inaccessible country to the north. But in the sweltering heat of Seoul at the height of the summer, order gives way to chaos and the edges of reality start to fray, with Ayami becoming an unwitting guide to its increasingly tangled threads.

For readers of Han Kang's The Vegetarian and Samanta Schweblin's Fever Dream, Untold Night and Day asks whether more than one version of ourselves can exist at once – and shows why Bae Suah is considered one of the boldest and most important voices in Korean literature today.

  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529110869
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.00

About the author

Bae Suah

Bae Suah was born in Seoul in 1965. She studied chemistry at university and wrote her first short story as a way of practising her typing. Since 1993 she has published more than a dozen novels and short story collections. Untold Night and Day is her first book to be published in the UK.

Praise for Untold Night and Day

Hypnotic… an uncannily affecting and dreamlike story of parallel lives and worlds.

Chloe Ashby, Guardian

[A] highly original novel, full of unsolved mysteries, repeated motifs and startling proseRemarkably freshExhilarating… Once I finished it, much of it slipped into my unconscious. All that remains is a sense of Bae's boundless yet precise imagination.

Luiza Sauma, Daily Telegraph

A metaphysical detective story, Untold Night and Day...draws on ideas from Korean shamanism...to venture in style and ambition far from the conventions of mystery narratives... Storylines echo one another and are braided into multilayered fictional universe with extraordinary skill… Bae’s novel complicates the boundaries between self and other reality and make-believe, night and day.

Sarah Shin, Observer

Bae Suah is one of Korea’s most radical contemporary writersUntold Night and Day is a hallucinatory novel propelled by the logic of dreamsBae masterfully layers [her] themes into an almost hidden code beneath the novel’s meditative surface.

Jay G Ying, Guardian

Bae Suah’s disturbing, beautifully controlled novel Untold Night and Day is a book of doubles, shadows and parallel worlds... a slim yet labyrinthine twist on a “choose your own adventure” story that disarms even as it disorients.

Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

As cryptic and compelling as a fever dream, Untold Night and Day is a vivid and disorienting exploration of identity, artifice and compulsion ... Bae Suah is one of the most unique and adroit literary voices working today.

Sharlene Teo

I loved this book. I loved its uncanny beauty, its startling occurrences. As it unravels you feel, if only a little, yourself unraveling too. A Lynchian triumph.

Daisy Johnson

Haunting and poetic, Untold Night and Day holds the reader in a suspended state, allowing us to explore the tension of the threshold. A strange and beautiful novel, wonderfully translated by Deborah Smith.

Chloe Aridjis

Unconventional and originalA Seoul fairytale where the unexpected should always be expected.

Kerry Hudson, Big Issue

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