The newest and most welcome addition to our creative writing faculty, Jung Yun is the author of SHELTER, published by Picador in 2016 and long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, as well as being recently named an Opening Round Nominee for Best Fiction Book of 2016 by Goodreads. Her work has appeared in Tin House (the “Emerging Voices” issue); The Best of Tin House: Stories, edited by Dorothy Allison; The Massachusetts Review; and The Atlantic Monthly. She is the recipient of two Artist Fellowships in fiction from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and an honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English at the George Washington University.
SHELTER is a stunning work of fiction that traces the life of its protagonist Kyung Cho, who “is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future.
A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage—private tutors, expensive hobbies—but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he’s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?
As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one’s family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.” – Amazon
Praise for SHELTER:
“Gripping… Yun shows how, although shelter doesn’t guarantee safety and blood doesn’t guarantee love, there’s something inextricable about the relationship between a child and a parent… SHELTER is captivating.”
— The New York Times Book Review
“Yun has written the rare novel that starts with a strong premise and gets better and richer with every page, each scene perfectly selected, building on the last… Like the writer’s version of a no-hitter, SHELTER is a marvel of skill and execution, tautly constructed and played without mercy.”
— The Los Angeles Times Book Review
“This absorbing, suspenseful début tracks familial obligation and the legacy of trauma in a Korean family. The narrative piles on surprises at a tightly controlled clip…”
— The New Yorker
“The novel grows darker and darker until all its internal contradictions are eclipsed by an ending as disturbing and bereft as anything you’ll read this year.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“Shelter is domestic drama at its best, a gripping narrative of secrets and revelations that seized me from beginning to end.”
—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-Winning author of The Sympathizer.