Milena, Milena, Ecstatic by Bae Suah

(Yeoyu - new voices Korea #6)

This book is part of a set from Strangers Press. I like their mission.

 STRANGERS PRESS is focused on publishing literary translations and international writing in innovative or creative ways. We’re particularly interested in the idea of translation as a form of cultural exchange – that cultures might learn things about each other, in multiple ways, through the process – and seek to publish in a way that celebrates or foregrounds that, in collaboration with the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia,  and The National Centre for Writing.
 We take our name from The Strangers of the 16th century: a group of economic migrants from the Spanish Netherlands invited to help boost the nation's textile industry. Our logo references a Flemish gable – in connection with their legacy – and suggests transition from one state to another.

As I’m a sucker for translated fiction, and these sets have awesome book covers - I was sold! The sets aren’t cheap, ($35 EUR) but are very cool. Each book is only 30-40 pages long, so these are easy to get through in one sitting.

This book Milena, Milena, Ecstatic is from the Yeoyu - New Voices from Korea set.

YEOYU6: Milena, Milena, Ecstatic by Bae Suah Hom Yun’s meticulously ordered life of reading books and drinking coffee receives a jolt when a mysterious cultural foundation unexpectedly agrees to fund his film proposal: a blend of fiction and documentary, a tone-poem constructed around a lyrical narrative, set around Scythian graves in the High Altai mountains. Desperate to be taken on as his assistant, the foundation’s secretary follows him from their offices and begins a night of crossed wires, dislocation, and reality seen through glass, darkly. One of South Korea’s most astonishingly sui generis authors, Bae Suah mixes the cerebral and the pungently physical, the mundane and the wildly surreal, in a characteristically potent blend.

A slow look at a mans ordered life and then suddenly having his dream come true. Not much ‘happens’ in this one but we get an deep look into what makes this man tick, and then see how he reacts to an unexpected event in his life.

I’ve read Bae Suah before. She has great stories. This wasn’t my favorite by her, but it was a good read for the coffee shop. I didn’t buy this set for her story, but rather the other authors I’ve never really heard of in the set. As stated before, these books can be read in one sitting, so they are perfect short stories to curl up with at your favorite coffee shop.

I plan to buy the other 2 sets they have, one with Japanese authors, and one with Norwegian authors. If you can spare the Euros, these are very nice sets for your collection.

Note that they are chap books, so when they’re on your shelf you can’t see the title of the book on the spine.

Also, Feel free to check out the other books in this Yeoyu - new voices Korea set, that I have reviewed!

Rating: ★★★

Book #15 in my #ReadingChallenge2021

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