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All Woman and Springtime

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Before she met Il-sun in an orphanage, Gi was a hollow husk of a girl, broken from growing up in one of North Korea’s forced-labor camps. A mathematical genius, she learned to cope with pain by retreating into a realm of numbers and calculations, an escape from both the past and the present. Gi becomes enamored of the brash and radiant Il-sun, a friend she describes as “all woman and springtime.” But Il-sun’s pursuit of a better life imperils both girls when her suitor spirits them across the Demilitarized Zone and sells them as sex workers, first in South Korea and then in the United States.
All Woman and Springtime takes us behind the iron curtain of the most mysterious country on earth as it weaves a heartbreaking, breath-taking story.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 05, 2012 – In Jones’s dramatic debut novel, 17-year old North Korean orphan girls, Il-sun and Gyong-ho, work hard and go hungry, yet believe that they live well because of “the grace of the Dear Leader.” Headstrong and beautiful, Il-sun begins an affair with a handsome, connected man who promptly sells her and Gyong-ho into the South Korean sex industry, starting them on a harrowing journey into human trafficking and forced prostitution, where survival depends on acclimating oneself to being a commodity. Their servitude takes them from South Korea to a Seattle brothel owned by the Korean mafia. With two other prostitutes, they endure beatings, weeks in a shipping container with little water and food, and the pain and daily humiliation of their work, only made better by smoking “hiroppong,” or crystal meth. Eventually Il-sun disappears, and Gyong-ho escapes the brothel to find her. Though the daring move may not save Il-sun, it could lead to a happier life for Gyong-ho. Jones’s well-paced story gives a peek into a disturbing, shadowy world, where women are sold and traded, but the author never effectively renders the psyche of his female characters; they lack dimension, and their pain and privation never feels as real to the reader as it does to them.
All Woman and Springtime
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Mar 12, 2013
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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