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Almond: A Novel by [Won-pyung Sohn, Sandy Joosun Lee]
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Almond: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 142 ratings

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of May 2020: I’m just going to say it: This novel made me laugh, wince, hold my breath with anticipation, and cry. I couldn’t put it down. When Yunjae sees another kid getting beat up in an alley, he just stares. He doesn’t intervene, he doesn’t run away. Pages later, we learn this Korean boy’s inability to express or understand emotion (including anger, which he has plenty reason to feel) is due to a mental disorder. The reality of Yunjae’s condition is pushed to the limits in this brilliantly fresh novel. As he comes of age, an unimaginable tragedy strikes his family, and Yunjae must navigate the world on his own—high school, running his mother’s bookstore, teenage brawls, and an emotion he has never understood: love. Violence threatens him at every turn, but it is precisely his disability that allows him to survive. Filled with heart-aching sentences and stunning moments of resilience and care (when you learn why he eats almonds, I defy you not to feel a pang), Won-pyung Sohn’s debut novel examines a world in which connection trumps emotion and loyalty becomes more than a feeling.—Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Review

"[A" boldly original piece of fiction, plumbing the depths of the human condition with plenty of humor along the way." (Entertainment Weekly)

"In her debut novel, film director and screenwriter Sohn Won-pyung (with the assistance of translator Sandy Joosun Lee) has created a tender exploration of adolescence — a universal experience complicated here by extraordinary circumstances. This is one of those books that deftly straddles the line between young adult and adult fiction; it has such a gentle heart that readers of all ages will recognize and sympathize with the characters' struggles and celebrate when they ultimately triumph." (Salon)

“Won-pyung Sohn understands that those who think, feel, and communicate differently aren't society's villains, they are its saviors. Her writing possesses seemingly unlimited empathy and tenderness.”  (Madeleine Ryan, author of A Room Called Earth )

“In what might be the first novel to feature a protagonist with alexithymia—an inability to identify and express one’s feelings—Korean novelist Sohn’s affecting debut arrives stateside. Raised by his grandmother and mother who worked diligently to guide him through everyday social interactions, Yunjae at 15 is effectively orphaned…. As Yunjae risks communication and connection, the eponymous almond—the undeveloped amygdalae of his brain—takes seed, and gives Yunjae the courage to claim 'an entirely different story. New and unknown.' Winner of the prestigious Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction in Korea, Sohn presents a 15-year-old neurodiverse protagonist with much resonance.” (Booklist (starred review))

Almond is a tour de force -- deeply engaging, engrossing, and troubling -- a poignant allegory of the contemporary Korean condition that marks the debut of a new international talent." (Heinz Insu Fenkl, author of Memories of My Ghost Brother and translator of The Nine Cloud Dream by Kim Man-jung )

“Delicate and heartbreaking. Like peeling a fruit, Sohn bares human emotion and questions the human condition with a gentle hunger.”  (-Jamie Marina Lau, author of Pink Mountain on Locust Island)

“In her debut novel, director and screenwriter Sohn makes the bold decision to choose an emotionally constricted first-person narrator, but the risk pays off. With the aid of a skillful translation…the novel will appeal fully to adults, but mature young readers who must cope in their everyday lives with the struggles of late adolescence will find themselves identifying with Yunjae and moved by his plight. A sensitive exploration of what it's like to live at life's emotional poles.”  (Kirkus Reviews)

"The narration by a young protagonist with a disorder that affects his ability to identify and express feelings will rightly draw comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, but Sohn's insightful depiction of an outsider's perspective on society around him will also please fans of other narrators who sharply consider the world at a remove, such as in The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Readers will treasure the opportunity to see the world through Yunjae's eyes and watch him as he grows." (Shelf Awareness)

"Intense and moving...a phenomenal book that deserves a wide audience among readers."  (Wall Street Journal) --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • Publication Date : May 5, 2020
  • File Size : 1177 KB
  • Print Length : 272 pages
  • Publisher : HarperVia (May 5, 2020)
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B07WSCKCH5
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 142 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
142 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Anchorbird
5.0 out of 5 stars Really recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2020
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Vivian Vaz
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of empathy and vulnerability
Reviewed in Brazil on October 13, 2020
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débora m.
5.0 out of 5 stars A story about family, friendship and empathy
Reviewed in Brazil on June 3, 2020
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Paola
5.0 out of 5 stars Buen libro
Reviewed in Mexico on October 3, 2020
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Alice L.
5.0 out of 5 stars OTTIMA LETTURA
Reviewed in Italy on September 30, 2020
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