Front Cover
Head of Zeus, Oct 14, 2021 - Fiction - 192 pages
This is not a murder story. It is the story of those left behind.

Parasite meets The Good Son in this piercing psychological portrait of three women haunted by a brutal, unsolved crime.

In the summer of 2002, nineteen-year-old Kim Hae-on was murdered in what became known as the High School Beauty Murder. There were two suspects: Shin Jeongjun, who had a rock-solid alibi, and Han Manu, to whom no evidence could be pinned. The case went cold.

Seventeen years pass without justice, and the grief and uncertainty take a cruel toll on her younger sister, Da-on, in particular. Unable to move on with her life, Da-on tries in her own twisted way to recover some of what she's lost, ultimately setting out to find the truth of what happened.

Shifting between the perspectives of Da-on and two of Hae-on's classmates struck in different ways by her otherworldly beauty, Lemon ostensibly takes the shape of a crime novel. But identifying the perpetrator is not the main objective here: Kwon Yeo-sun uses this well-worn form to craft a searing, timely exploration of privilege, jealousy, trauma, and how we live with the wrongs we have endured and inflicted in turn.

'Discovering whodunnit isn't really the point here; Lemon is a subtle, often intense meditation on the after-effects of violence' Guardian

'Chilling, suspenseful and disconcerting ... I couldn't put it down and read deep into the night until I finished it, with my heart hammering' Frances Cha, author of If I Had Your Face

'Lemon is a chilling yet deeply moving story about grief, trauma, life, death, and the shattered pieces left behind by those who are gone. The humanity of Kwon's characters will break your heart on every page' An Yu, author of Braised Pork

'A haunting literary crime story ... Razor-sharp observations of class, gender and privilege in contemporary Korea' Cosmopolitan

'Jolts with its brilliance and tartness. It's simply electric' Kyung-sook Shin, author of Please Look After Mother

'A confounding masterpiece ... One of the most profound page-turners you will ever encounter' Matthew Salesses, author of Craft in the Real World

'Charming, beguiling, and unique ... Lemon, like a great painting, makes you see the world differently' Patrick Hoffman, author of Clean Hands and Every Man a Menace

'This fascinating, psychologically astute vignette about grief, blame and searching for the truth delivers piercing emotional depth in unique and elegant style' LoveReading

'A sharp, explosive novel that challenges the reader to consider the impact of beauty standards in our culture on young people, and compels us to examine our notion of what justice can be when we are faced with the unthinkable. Highly recommended' Han Clark, Lunate.co.uk

'Lemon is a strange, haunting book, an elegant hybrid of crime novel and psychological thriller, the story of an overlooked sister obsessively picking over the tantalising facts of her sister's unsolved murder' Patrick Gale

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User Review  - Publishers Weekly

South Korean author Kwon’s powerful English-language debut explores issues of jealousy, loss, and physical beauty. Long after the event, “short and dumpy” Kim Da-on remains obsessed with the 2002 ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I really enjoyed this short novel. The story evolves around the death of a female character. Following the investigation of the murder it really eerie psychological novel. I listened to the audiobook and liked the fact it had multiple narrators that added great atmosphere and tension. The fact it follows 3 different perspectives was very good I enjoyed that aspect. It is not your normal psychological thriller it has a great air of mystery to it.its a really who done it. I loved its very unique story-line. As the story spans over 20 years, I did get a little confused st times as the story jumps through different time lines. I love reading books set in Asia especially when they involve lots about cultures and traditions. I found the sister really creepy which is especially good for the upcoming season if you are not into horror books. If your looking for a complete novel with a satisfying solved ending avoid this book. Although you are led to think who the killer is it is left open without confirmation of who you think it is but that didn't both me . I reckon I had it worked out. Im really glad I read this book.
Many thanks to the author a publishing team for bring us this great complex and unique short story to life.

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About the author (2021)

Kwon Yeo-sun is an award-winning Korean writer. She has won the Sangsang Literary Award, Oh Yeongsu Literature Award, Yi Sang Literary Prize, Hankook Ilbo Literary Award, Tong-ni Literature Prize and Lee Hyo-seok Literary Award. Lemon is her first novel to be published in the English language. Janet Hong is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. She received the TA First Translation Prize and the LTI Korea Translation Award for her translation of Han Yujoo's The Impossible Fairy Tale, which was also a finalist for both the 2018 PEN Translation Prize and the National Translation Award. Her recent translations include Ha Seong-nan's Bluebeard's First Wife, Ancco's Nineteen, and Keum Suk Gendry-Kim's Grass.

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