Your Republic Is Calling You
A Mariner Original, September 28, 2010
Author: Young Ha Kim’s
Cover Design: Mark R. Robinson
From one of Korea’s rising stars comes a novel that delves deep into one day in the life of a long-dormant North Korean spy, suddenly called back to headquarters.
A foreign film importer, Gi-yeong is a family man with a wife and daughter. An aficionado of Heineken, soccer, and sushi, he is also a North Korean spy who has been living among his enemies for twenty-one years.
Suddenly he receives a mysterious email, a directive seemingly from the home office. He has one day to return to headquarters. He hasn’t heard from anyone in over ten years. Why is he being called back now? Is this message really from Pyongyang? Is he returning to receive new orders or to be executed for a lack of diligence? Has someone in the South discovered his secret identity? Is this a trap?
Spanning the course of one day, Your Republic Is Calling You is an emotionally taut, psychologically astute, haunting novel that reveals the depth of one particularly gripping family secret and the way in which we sometimes never really know the people we love. Confronting moral questions on small and large scales, it mines the political and cultural transformations that have transformed South Korea since the 1980s. A lament for the fate of a certain kind of man and a certain kind of manhood, it is ultimately a searing study of the long and insidious effects of dividing a nation in two.
Young Ha Kim’s “I Have the Right to Destroy Myself” won Korea’s Munhakdongne Prize and was a Border’s Original Voices pick upon publication in the United States. Kim has earned a reputation as one of the most talented and prolific Korean writers of his generation, publishing five novels and three collections of short stories since 1996.