Winter In Sokcho

“Are those postcards?” my son asked. “What are they for?”
“Memories,” I replied.

When tourists visit a place, what do they see? In Singapore, the glitz and glamour, I guess. Do tourists see the rest of it, other than the shopping malls, eateries, hotels, and other tourist destinations?

In Winter in Sokcho, an unnamed narrator works at a guesthouse, and a Frenchman who writes comic books, checks in. He’s looking for inspiration for a new work and she agrees to show him around and tells him about life in Sokcho.

As she shows him around, what is she to him? What does she want him to see?

“I didn’t want to be his eyes on my world. I wanted to be seen. I wanted him to see me with his own eyes.”

There’s something unsettling about this book, much like living so close to the North-South border, I suppose.

“Our beaches are still waiting for the end of a war that’s been going on for so long people have stopped believing it’s real. They build hotels, put up neon signs, but it’s all fake, we’re on a knife-edge, it could all give way any moment. We’re living in limbo. In a winter that never ends.”

A short moody read that shouldn’t be rushed or underestimated.


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