book review: Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park | BookBrowse





LOVE IN THE BIG CITY by Sang Young Park
translated by Anton Hur
★★★★★
Grove Press, 2021



Set in Seoul, South Korea, Love in the Big City is a warm, playful, emotionally rich novel that weaves together four interconnected vignettes to tell the story of its narrator, Park Young, as he matures over the course of his 20s and 30s. Split into four sections—each of which could conceivably stand alone as a short story—Love in the Big City first introduces the friendship between Park Young and Jaehee, a fellow student who, like Young, spends most of her free time drinking and hooking up with random men. The two move in together, sharing everything, and the platonic love between them is palpable; Young keeps Jaehee’s favorite Marlboro cigarettes stocked and Jaehee buys him his favorite frozen blueberries. When Jaehee uncharacteristically decides to settle down and get married after years of the two sharing their young and free lifestyle, Young feels betrayed and unmoored, which leads to a series of inauspicious romantic trysts.

You can read my full review HERE on BookBrowse and a piece I wrote about contemporary Korean literature in translation HERE.

4 thoughts on “book review: Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park | BookBrowse

  1. im SO glad you enjoyed this!! i remember reading it last year and really loving the way it was structured around significant relationships in the protagonist’s life (especially the absolute chaos that he and Jaehee get up to in the first chapter lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm, I wouldn’t say so—there’s definitely something vaguely Rooney-esque about its exploration of millennial love, but I’d say Love in the Big City is more internal (and more queer, certainly) than Normal People.

      Like

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