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In “a spectacular display of intelligence and feeling” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Paul Yoon’s collection of short stories ranges throughout the world—from the Hudson Valley to the Russian Far East—across periods of time after World War II, hailed as a "genuine work of art...tough and elegant and true" (The Boston Globe).
In The Mountain, award-winning and acclaimed author Paul Yoon reveals his subtle, ethereal, and strikingly observant style with six thematically linked stories, taking place across several continents and time periods and populated with characters who are connected by their traumatic pasts, newly vagrant lives, and quests for solace in their futures. Though they exist in their own distinct worlds (from a sanatorium in the Hudson Valley to an inn in the Russian far east) they are united by the struggle to reconcile their traumatic pasts in the wake of violence, big and small, spiritual and corporeal. A morphine-addicted nurse wanders through the decimated French countryside in search of purpose; a dissatisfied wife sporadically takes a train across Spain with a much younger man in the wake of a building explosion; a lost young woman emigrates from Korea to Shanghai, where she aimlessly works in a camera sweat shop, trying fruitlessly to outrun the ghosts of her past.
In this "fantastic collection" (Los Angeles Times), “Paul Yoon’s dazzling use of wordplay, pacing, and the quiet authenticity of his characters…makes him one of the most evocative writers working today” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). With The Mountain, “Yoon proves himself a literary alchemist, transforming tragedy into beauty with deft reminders of our universal connections…Joining such luminaries as Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Díaz, and Alice Munro, Yoon has undoubtedly earned membership in the exclusive coterie of today’s finest writers of the short form” (Library Journal, starred review).