A seductive, disorienting, and wholly original story about parallel lives, unfolding over a day and a night in the sweltering heat of Seoul’s summer.
For two years, 28-year-old Kim Ayami has worked at Seoul’s only audio theatre for the blind. But Ayami has just been made redundant, and thinking about the future feels like staring into the unknown.
Open to anything, Ayami spends a night in the company of her former boss, searching for a mutual friend who has disappeared, and the following day looking after a visiting poet who turns out to be not what he seems. Walking the streets of the city with each man in turn, Ayami talks about art, love and the inaccessible country to the north. But in the sweltering heat of Seoul at the height of the summer, order gives way to chaos and the edges of reality start to fray, with Ayami becoming an unwitting guide to its increasingly tangled threads.
For readers of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian and Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream, Untold Night and Day asks whether more than one version of ourselves can exist at once – and shows why Bae Suah is considered one of the boldest and most important voices in Korean literature today.