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The Resource Everything belongs to us : a novel, Yoojin Grace Wuertz

Everything belongs to us : a novel, Yoojin Grace Wuertz

Label
Everything belongs to us : a novel
Title
Everything belongs to us
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"This debut novel takes place at the elite Seoul National University in 1970s South Korea during the final years of a repressive regime. The novel follows the fates of two women--Jisun, the daughter of a powerful tycoon, who eschews her privilege to become an underground labor activist in Seoul; and Namin, her best friend from childhood, a brilliant, tireless girl who has grown up with nothing, and whose singular goal is to launch herself and her family out of poverty. Drawn to both of these women is Sunam, a seeming social-climber who is at heart a lost boy struggling to find his place in a cutthroat world. And at the edges of their friendship is Junho, whose ambitions have taken him to new heights in the university's most prestigious social club, called "the circle," and yet who guards a dangerous secret that is tied to his status. Wuertz explores the relationships that bind these students to each other, as well as the private anxieties and desires that drive them to succeed" --
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • As explosive growth transforms 1970s South Korea into an international powerhouse, sociopolitical upheaval becomes unavoidable in daily life. Into the maelstrom of such spectacular change, first-novelist Wuertz—Seoul-born, U.S.-raised, Yale- and NYU-degreed—drops two women onto the elite campus of Seoul National University. Jisun is there by birthright as the daughter of a wealthy, powerful businessman, but she eschews her privilege to live with factory workers, join demonstrations, get arrested, and aid underground organizations. In contrast, Namin has outperformed everyone to gain entry; her singular goal of becoming a medical doctor equals her family’s escape from poverty. The girls’ childhood best-friendship falters as each twentysomething faces complex crises against the backdrop of a nation-in-the-remaking. Wuertz assuredly bears witness to the tumult of her birth country: clashes with U.S. occupiers, the widening divide between haves and have-nots, the dismantling of traditional family structures, the impending end of a dictatorship, and the possibilities of a future when everything might belong to a generation not fully prepared for the challenges to come. An absorbing debut destined for major lists and nominations. -- Hong, Terry (Reviewed 11/1/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 5, p25)
  • Wuertz’s memorable debut takes place in 1978 Seoul and follows four university students—two boys, two girls—as they work and fumble their way through a school year of camaraderie and betrayal. The girls—Namin, a serious student seen as her poor family’s one hope at financial success, and Jisun, her wealthy childhood pal bent on becoming a labor activist—find their friendship in flux as they begin drifting down separate paths toward adulthood. Their story lines bring them in contact with Sunam, a charming student struggling to find his spot on the social ladder, and Juno, a more experienced boy sponsoring Sunam as a pledge to the university social club, the Circle. Juno desires Jisun, who eschews his interest, and Sunam and Namin become a romantic item after meeting at a party held by the Circle. But it isn’t long before Namin’s studies and family life—an American GI impregnates her older sister—pulls her away from Sunam’s affection, and he begins spending more time with the seductive Jisun. Wuertz crafts a story with delicious scenes and plot threads, perceptively showing the push and pull of relationships in a strictly mannered society. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed 12/19/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 51, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ An ambitious debut about power and family in South Korea with rich character portraits and a strong political heartbeat.In her first novel, Wuertz traces the ambitions of four loosely connected students attending Seoul National University in 1978. There’s Jisun, a revolutionary at heart fighting for autonomy from her wealthy and influential father; Namin, a poor scholarship student struggling to bury her family’s past and lift them out of poverty; Sunam, a striver caught between the different futures these young women offer him; and Juno, an ingratiating social climber only interested in his own advancement. It’s no accident that the book opens—and closes—amid the clamor of protest, from striking textile workers roughed into police vans to a smoke bomb planted during a college graduation ceremony. Wuertz investigates a national crisis surrounding worker exploitation and upward mobility, the complicity of the rich, and the stifling indecision of the middle class. With deep sympathy and psychological insight, she demonstrates how a corrupt political regime bankrupts—literally and figuratively—the choices of her characters, pushing them to moral extremes. Namin is forced to choose between caretaking for her beloved disabled brother and raising her sister’s illegitimate son, while Sunam struggles with a bribe of unimaginable magnitude. Even spirited Jisun must negotiate for her freedom. To outsmart her controlling father, she chooses to give away her fortune to the legal funds of protesters. At the bank, she’s left with “an eerie feeling like stealing from a ghost, a fictional character with her name and identification number.” Jisun isn’t the only ghost walking in the pages of this book, which collects and mourns the forgotten, downtrodden souls these four must rescue or leap over in their race to the top. Wuertz’s book blooms in unexpected ways, eschewing a straightforward plot for more meandering paths. While the framework of the novel isn’t always tidy, the book is no less a significant representation of the politics of postwar hope and despair. Engrossing. Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.(Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10550798
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Wuertz, Yoojin Grace
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3623.U37
LC item number
E95 2017
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • College students
  • Nineteen seventies
  • Friendship
  • Ambition
  • Motivation (Psychology)
  • Seoul (Korea)
Target audience
adult
Label
Everything belongs to us : a novel, Yoojin Grace Wuertz
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
356 pages
Isbn
9780812998542
Lccn
2016012226
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 950724696
  • (OCoLC)950724696
Label
Everything belongs to us : a novel, Yoojin Grace Wuertz
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
356 pages
Isbn
9780812998542
Lccn
2016012226
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 950724696
  • (OCoLC)950724696

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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