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The Ginseng Hunterby Jeff Talarigo
Synopses & Reviews
Set at the turn of the twenty-first century in China along the Tumen River, which separates northeast China and North Korea, The Ginseng Hunter is an unforgettable portrait of life along a fragile border.
A Chinese ginseng hunter lives alone in the valley and spends his days up in the mountains looking for ginseng and preparing for winter. He is scarcely aware of the larger world until shadowy figures hiding in the fields, bodies floating in the river, and rumors of thievery and murder begin to intrude on his cherished solitude. On one of his monthly trips to Yanji, where he buys supplies and visits a brothel, he meets a young North Korean prostitute. Through her vivid tales, the tragedy occurring across the river unfolds, and over the course of the year the hunter unnervingly discovers that the fates of the young woman and four others rest in his hands.
Spare, intimate, and strikingly atmospheric, The Ginseng Hunter takes us into the little-understood lives of North Koreans and confirms Jeff Talarigo's immense gift for storytelling.
A Chinese ginseng hunter lives alone in the valley, where he spends his days preparing for winter. He is scarcely aware of the larger world until shadowy figures, floating bodies, and rumors of murder begin to intrude on his cherished solitude. Then, on a trip to Yanji, he meets a young North Korean prostitute. Through her vivid tales, the tragedy occurring across the river unfolds, and soon the hunter realizes that the fates of the young woman and four others rest in his hands.An unforgettable look at life along the fragile border between China and North Korea, The Ginseng Hunter is a confirmation of Jeff Talarigo's talent for finding humanity in the most unexpected places.
About the Author
JEFF TALARIGO won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award for his widely acclaimed first novel, The Pearl Diver. After living in Japan for almost fourteen years, he, with his wife and son, moved back to the United States in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Ginseng Hunter is his second novel.
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