"Chung indelibly portrays a Korea viciously divided but ever bound to history, myth, and hope."--O, The Oprah Magazine
"In this beautiful debut novel...Woven with tender reflections, sharp renderings of isolation, and beautiful prose...Chung simultaneously shines light on the violence of Korean history, the chill of American xenophobia, and the impossibility of home in either country."
"Luminous and surprising . . . [Chung's] voice is fresh, her material rich, and Forgotten Country is an impressive, memorable debut."
--San Francisco Chronicle
“This elegantly written, stunningly powerful, simply masterful first novel should earn Chung many fans, especially among those who enjoy Amy Tan, Eugenia Kim, Lisa See, and Chang-Rae Lee.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“It is a rare novel -- debut or otherwise -- that can sing at once with such tenderness and ferocity, with such intense feeling and exquisite restraint. Forgotten Country is just that book, poetically crafted, shimmering with hard-won emotion, and wholly absorbing. A superb performance.”
-Chang-rae Lee, author of The Surrendered and Native Speaker
“A heartbreaking debut novel that will leave you quietly shattered in its wake. Forgotten Country is an exquisitely rendered account of a Korean immigrant family divided by two sisters, two countries and a curse that spans generations. Catherine Chung has written a haunting meditation on family loyalty and the lingering legacy of war.”
-Julie Otsuka, author of When the Emperor Was Divine and The Buddha in the Attic
“I was left utterly devastated by the wonder and heartbreak captured in these pages. Forgotten Country is overflowing with folktales and family secrets, with American and Korean traditions, with haunting prose and mathematical beauty. Here is a book to cherish, and to celebrate. When I finished the last page I made a promise to myself to be more fearless and fierce with my love; it's that kind of book.”
-Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
“Forgotten Country is a richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one. Catherine Chung’s beautiful and wise novel will haunt me for years to come.”
-Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Torch
“Catherine Chung's wonderful first novel is a moving and deeply personal story of a family caught between two very different countries and very different lives.”
-Alison Lurie, author of Foreign Affairs
“Catherine Chung is a writer whose first novel I've been waiting for, and her debut, Forgotten Country, more than fulfills what I hoped for---a boldly imagined novel of Korea and America, of a curse between sisters and a family trying to outrun a war that will not let them go. Chillingly beautiful and magnetic, unforgettable.”
-Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh
"A riveting, brutal portrait of two sisters in crisis, Catherine Chung's unforgettable debut is a work of enormous talent and heart. Written with compassion and insight, Forgotten Country examines the unspoken complexities of familial love and forgiveness, loyalty and betrayal, and renders an indelible, haunting image of Korea, past and present."
-Kate Walbert, author of A Short History of Women