Please join us to hear Crystal Hana Kim talk about her new novel, If You Leave Me, an riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love--the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they're forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today.
When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family's makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan.
Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn't realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi--and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come.
Richly told and deeply moving, If You Leave Me is a stunning portrait of war and refugee life, a passionate and timeless romance, and a heartrending exploration of one woman's longing for autonomy in a rapidly changing world.
Can't make it to the event? Call us at 847-446-8880, and we'll be happy to arrange an autographed copy for you.
Her fellow authors have been lavish with their praise!
"If You Leave Me is graced with truly wonderful writing; great poise, lyricism, intelligence, and an utterly engrossing portrayal of life."-- Richard Ford
"An engrossing story of love, family, and war on the Korean peninsula. Timely and timeless--a beautiful debut."-- David Ebershoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife
"If You Leave Me is a thrilling debut, a lyrical and lovely novel that beautifully showcases Crystal Hana Kim's emotional intelligence and empathy for her characters."--Emma Cline, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls
Crystal Hana Kim holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a contributing editor for Apogee Journal. She has received numerous awards, including PEN America's Story Prize for Emerging Writers, along with fellowships and support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, among others. Born and raised in New York, she also has strong ties to Chicago, and we are delighted to welcome her back. If You Leave Me is her first novel.
“An immersive, heartbreaking story about war, passion, and the road not taken.” — People
“Heartrending . . . a stunning feat of lyricism.” — USA Today