Blue Stoop Presents: Crystal Hana Kim in conversation with Sara Nović
Join us as Crystal Hana Kim, author of If You Leave Me, is in conversation with Sara Nović!
An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love—the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they’re forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today.
When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family’s makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan.
Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn’t realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi—and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come.
Richly told and deeply moving, If You Leave Me is a stunning portrait of war and refugee life, a passionate and timeless romance, and a heartrending exploration of one woman’s longing for autonomy in a rapidly changing world.
Praise for If You Leave Me
“An immersive, heartbreaking story about war, passion, and the road not taken.” — People
“Heartrending . . . a stunning feat of lyricism.” — USA Today
"One of the most beautiful and moving love stories you’ll read this year." — Nylon Magazine
Crystal Hana Kim’s debut novel If You Leave Me was published in August 2018. She was a 2017 PEN America Dau Short Story Prize winner and has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hedgebrook, Jentel, among others. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from The Washington Post, Elle Magazine, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Apogee Journal and is the Director of Writing Instruction at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
Sara Nović is the author of the novel Girl at War (Random House, 2015), which won the American Library Association Alex Award, was an LA Times book prize finalist, and was longlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper's, BOMB, Guernica, Electric Literature, TriQuarterly and others. Nović studied fiction and literary translation in the MFA at Columbia University. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Stockton University in NJ, and lives in Philadelphia.
Co-Sponsored by Blue Stoop!
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104