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CAT Book Club: Mina

The first book we’ll be discussing this month is Kim Sagwa’s Mina, translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton.

Good news! The book club’s first October read came out yesterday. Mina tells the story of Crystal, a teenager who toils day and night to earn top grades at her cram school. This book is dark and visceral, and if you haven’t already started reading it, check out this mesmerizing excerpt in Granta, which begins with a dream and turns into a waking nightmare.

Originally published in Korean in 2008 by a then twenty-four-year-old Kim Sagwa, Mina has been hailed as “a powerful portrayal of teenage angst.” But in addition to its rich characters, Mina demonstrates Kim’s ability to portray scenes with such haunting and precise language, beautifully rendered by translators Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton.

Kirkus writes, “Kim’s prose is focused, sharp, and unflinching, even—and especially—in the novel’s gruesome scenes. We see the color of blood mixed with milk, for instance. It is ‘the color of strawberries.’ The novel is full of such vivid details, difficult to read and more difficult to forget.”

Today marks the beginning of Kim Sagwa’s book tour. Check out the dates below for a chance to hear from this startling voice making her English debut this month. 

Wednesday, October 10, 7:00 pm
In conversation with poet and author Laura Sims
Community Bookstore
143 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, October 11, 6:00 pm
Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, 57th Street Books
1301 E 57th St
Chicago, IL 60637

Friday, October 12, 7:00 pm
In conversation with Shannon Gibney
Milkweed Books
1011 Washington Avenue South, Suite 107
Minneapolis, MN 55145

Sunday, October 14, 3:00 pm
In conversation with author Sisonke Msimang
Litquake
Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

Wednesday, October 17, 7:30 pm
In conversation with author and poet Chiwan Choi
Skylight Books
1818 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Thursday, October 18, 7:00 pm
Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bisonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Friday, October 19, 7:00 pm
In conversation with poet/translator Don Mee Choi
and translators Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122