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Hanover Square Press

Apartment Women: A Novel by Gu Byeong-mo (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

Apartment Women: A Novel by Gu Byeong-mo (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

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Fiction - Literary - Women - Friendship - World Literature - Korea


From the New York Times Notable author of The Old Woman with the Knife comes a bracingly original story of family, marriage and the cultural expectations of motherhood, about four women whose lives intersect in dramatic and unexpected ways at a government-run apartment complex outside Seoul

When Yojin moves with her husband and daughter into the Dream Future Pilot Communal Apartments, she’s ready for a fresh start. Located on the outskirts of Seoul, the experimental community is a government initiative designed to boost the national birth rate. Like her neighbors, Yojin has agreed to have at least two more children over the next ten years.

Yet, from the day she arrives, Yojin feels uneasy about the community spirit thrust upon her. Her concerns grow as communal child care begins and the other parents show their true colors. Apartment Women traces the lives of four women in the apartments, all with different aspirations and beliefs. Will they find a way to live peacefully? Or are the cultural expectations around parenthood stacked against them from the start?

A trenchant social novel from an award-winning author, Apartment Women incisively illuminates the unspoken imbalance of women’s parenting labor, challenging the age-old assumption that “it takes a village” to raise a child.


Gu Byeong-mo an award-winning author. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she now resides in Jinju, South Korea, with her family. The Old Woman with the Knife is her first book to be translated into English.

"Reading this incisive, delicate and wholly original book, I found that words like 'family', 'neighbor', 'nature', and 'community' no longer evoked warm and bountiful images in me. They gave me a chill. And I know that this is reality."-- Cho Nam-joo, author of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

"Gu Byeong-mo's novel Apartment Women asks a provocative question. Rebelling against the social norms and conventions, she invites us to look again at things we have taken for granted."-- Hankyoreh Daily

"[Gu Byeong-mo] relentlessly reveals the dark side of the word 'warm community' that we have so far been using without questioning."-- Korea Herald

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