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The Stone Home

A novel by

“It is a privilege to read Crystal Hana Kim’s fiction, which both edifies and enlightens.” ��Min Jin Lee

A hauntingly poetic family drama and coming-of-age story that reveals a dark corner of South Korean history through the eyes of a small community living in a reformatory center—a stunning work of great emotional power from the critically acclaimed author of If You Leave Me.

In 2011, Eunju Oh opens her door to greet a stranger: a young Korean American woman holding a familiar-looking knife—a knife Eunju hasn’t seen in thirty years, and that connects her to a place she’d desperately hoped to leave behind forever.

In South Korea in the 1980s, young Eunju and her mother are homeless on the street. After being captured by the police, they’re sent to live within the walls of a state-sanctioned reformatory center that claims to rehabilitate the nation’s citizens but hides a darker, more violent reality. While Eunju and her mother form a tight-knit community with the other women in the kitchen, two teenage brothers, Sangchul and Youngchul, are compelled to labor in the workshops and make increasingly desperate decisions—and all are forced down a path of survival, the repercussions of which will echo for decades to come.

Inspired by real events, told through alternating timelines and two intimate perspectives, The Stone Home is a deeply affecting story of a mother and daughter’s love and a pair of brothers whose bond is put to an unfathomably difficult test. Capturing a shameful period of history with breathtaking restraint and tenderness, Crystal Hana Kim weaves a lyrical exploration of the legacy of violence and the complicated psychology of power, while showcasing the extraordinary acts of devotion and friendship that can arise in the darkness.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"With ferocity as well as tremendous tenderness and psychological insight, Crystal Hana Kimbrilliantlybears witness to shocking state-sanctioned brutality in 1980s South Korea while telling a universally resonant story of lost innocence, resistance, survival, family bonds, and how communities form in even the most desperate circumstances. Haunting and suspenseful, The Stone Home dares its characters, and readers, to hope." - Jessamine Chan

"It is a priviledge to read Crystal Hana Kim fiction, which both edifies and enlightens." - Min Jin Lee

"Propulsive and unflinching, Crystal Hana Kim deftly balances the factual and emotional truths of a vivid setting and cast of characters. The Stone Home is a raw, authentic, and empathetic look at a little-known piece of history - everyone should read it." - Sara Nović

"Crystal Hana Kim is one of today's most exquisite writers. Her beautiful words tell a brutal story of family, state, and the history walled off during our lifetimes. It's a story we need to know, put on the page by the author we trust to tell it. Stunning, frightening, and awe-inspiring, The Stone Home is the book we have been waiting for." - Julia Phillips

"Impressive, multi-layered, and haunting; choral in its unflinching, realistic, yet heartfelt account of state-sanctioned violence. A necessary read." - Nafissa Thompson-Spires

"The Stone Home is an absolutely necessary read that shines light on a crucial yet overlooked point in history. Through her luminous talent, perfect prose, and unwavering narrative might, Crystal Hana Kim transforms a difficult historical moment into a moving portrait of generational strife and familial devotion. To what extent will we go to protect the ones we love? To protect the truth? The human heart is fallible yet also miraculous in what it can endure. Here is a book that entwines the stories of many into one collective, beating heart." - Weike Wang

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