Goddamn, this book. Set in 1980s Seoul amid the commercial spoils of Korea’s industrial boom, Pavane for a Dead Princess is both a polemic against the fetishization of material wealth and physical beauty and a tender account of the brief, cautious romance between a handsome parking lot attendant and the breathtakingly ugly woman he falls for. Come for the star-crossed love story, stay for the postmodern existential dread and the beauty and agony of youth—and for the last 30 pages, which take an unexpected turn that will make you want to go back and read the whole book all over again. Translated by Amber Hyun Jung Kim.
My full video review: