This book is about friendship and solidarity between a Korean woman who is a victim of dating violence and a Japanese man who is a sexual minority.
- Book Intro
Hanjoo barely survived a relationship called love. Her lover repeatedly assaulted her, and she blamed herself. A severe assault was made and she is found unconscious. After than, she got "foreign language syndrome" and as a result lost her native language. Now the only language she can speak and understand is Japanese. If she ever learns Korean again, she hopes to be a person who can say things like "No. I wouldn't" firmly, as she could never do before. She heads to Tokyo because there is nothing she can do in Korea as a student studying Korean literature.
However, painful memories continue to haunt her. She feels like she is stuck in past when she gets a favor from a stranger or when she feels unconformable to familiar feelings. But she tries to stop her mind from leaning toward familiar misery, and instead move forward to new possibilities. And there is someone who helps this happen. He is Yukino, who works with her at the bookstore.
Yukino introduces himself as coming from Otaru, and tells an interesting story that a snow fairy is supposed to appear before it snows. Most people admire the beautiful snow story and have a good impression on him. But in fact he does neither like snow nor enjoy such reaction. The story is his strategy to appeal to people who do not like homosexuals like him. But unexpectedly, Hanjoo says she doesn't like snow. He has never heard such reaction! He thinks that she is different from him in many ways, such as age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and so on.
As time goes by, Yukino learns why Hanjoo cannot speak Korean at all and Hanjoo learns about Yukino's homosexual lover, Hansoo. As such, they get to know that both of them survived from love. They spend time together, sharing their wounded hearts that they have always kept hidden. But this is until Yukino suddenly goes missing one day...
- About the Author
Han Jung Hyun
(English) Han Jung Hyun began her writing career after winning the Dong-A Ilbo Annual Spring Literary Award 2015 for the short story The Language of Adolf and Albert. The novel Juliana Tokyo is the author's first book. This work earned her strong support from the critiques and from readers.
"Naoki Watanabe (Professor at Musashi University), 2019, thought of Lee Yang-ji's Akutagawa Prize winning work Yoo-Hee while reading this. Yoo-Hee portrayed the wandering of Koreans in Japan who could not belong to any country. However, Han JungHyun focuses on searching for identity through wounds rather than language and country. Having lost her native language, Hanjoo comes to Tokyo to continue her life and deeply connects with Yukino.
Kim Hwa-jin (Literature Editor), 2019, A huge house of grief composed of snowflakes. This was the first impression of the novel. Those who are hurt and wounded recognize each other. They share small and important words, and these are built up into courage. The frozen tongue melts and the voice starts to spread, finally becoming the master of one's life. The sweet words that made this possible, are 'salt candy', 'Dotoru cafe', 'also', 'snow fair
Selected as Book Distribution Project for Sharing Literature (1Q)