Synopses & Reviews
An exquisite collection from a breathtaking new voice — centered on a constellation of Korean American families
"To encounter these achingly truthful, beautiful stories of newcomer Americans is like gazing up at the starry vault of a perfect night sky; it's immediately dazzling and impressive, and yet the closer and deeper you look, the more you appreciate the sheer countless brilliance." — Chang-rae Lee, author of My Year Abroad
A long-married couple is forced to confront their friend's painful past when a church revival comes to a nearby town... A woman in an arranged marriage struggles to connect with the son she hid from her husband for years... A well-meaning sister unwittingly reunites an abuser with his victims.
Through an indelible array of lives, Yoon Choi explores where first and second generations either clash or find common ground, where meaning falls in the cracks between languages, where relationships bend under the weight of tenderness and disappointment, where displacement turns to heartbreak.
Skinship is suffused with a profound understanding of humanity and offers a searing look at who the people we love truly are.
"The rare story collection that draws you in so completely that the pages turn themselves... Choi's stories are both closely observed and expansive, a feat of narrative engineering that places her next to Alice Munro... An exceptional debut." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Think Alice Munro. Think Tobias Wolff. Think Lucia Berlin. Yoon Choi is a writer whose talents must be measured on the Richter Scale. The eight rich stories in this debut collection Skinship send tremors through our sensibilities, forcing us to reimagine the bonds that secure families, marriages, and generations. The rolling cadence of Choi's prose — at turns lovely, wise, and funny — releases her characters' voices to speak the truth of lives they'd likely never have otherwise been able to share. And what lives they are. Skinship charts the underlying power and deep humanity of those remanded to be bodega owners' wives, arranged brides, hospice workers, and caretakers, all with inner realms that cascade forth under Choi's careful gaze." Adam Johnson
"In every sense of the word 'skinship, ' there is an element of affection, one that seeps through every page of Choi's debut... Choi's characters live, forget, make bonds, break them, heal them or not. Their affections are no less deep for the circumstances that often separate them from one another." Alex Difrancesco, New York Times Book Review
"Beautiful... A rich and engaging new voice... With refreshing amplitude, patience, and (dare I say) wisdom, Choi's stories explore the complexities of her characters' diverse experiences." Claire Messud, Harper's
"Extraordinary... Magical... Reading Choi's stories reminds me of how I felt when I first read the works of other singular sensations like Kevin Wilson or Karen Russell, writers who do things with language and storytelling that no one else has quite done before... It's Choi's approach, the way her stories unexpectedly splinter out from a single life to touch upon decades of family history shaped by immigration, that makes them something special... All these stories are standouts, but the title story is in a class of its own." Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air/NPR
About the Author
YOON CHOI was born in Korea and moved to the U.S. at the age of three. She has an MA from Johns Hopkins and is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Narrative Magazine, and The Best American Short Stories 2018. She lives with her husband and four children in Anaheim, California.