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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781035416479

Price: £14.99

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From the award-winning author of The Old Woman with the Knife comes the thought-provoking story of community and the cultural expectations of motherhood, through four women whose lives intersect in unexpected ways at a government-run apartment complex outside Seoul

When Yojin moves with her husband and daughter into the Dream Future Pilot Communal Apartments, she’s ready for a fresh start. Located on the outskirts of Seoul, the experimental community is a government initiative designed to boost the national birth rate. Like her neighbours, Yojin has agreed to have at least two more children over the next ten years.

Yet, from the day she arrives, Yojin feels uneasy about the community spirit thrust upon her. Her concerns grow as communal child care begins and the other parents show their true colours. Your Neighbour’s Table traces the lives of four women in the apartments, all with different aspirations and beliefs.

Will they find a way to live peacefully? Or are society’s expectations stacked against them from the start?

A trenchant social novel from an award-winning author, Your Neighbour’s Table incisively illuminates the unspoken imbalance of women’s parenting labour and the challenges of working towards a better life.

Reviews

Gu Byeong-mo's Your Neighbour's Table is a sharp examination of the boundary between the utopic ideals of community and the dystopian realities of late capitalism. The characters - beautifully drawn, full of flaws and wholly human - live side-by-side in a tense intimacy that haunted me long after I put the book down.
Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, author of A FIRE SO WILD
Reading this incisive, delicate and wholly original book, I found that words like 'family', 'neighbor', 'nature', and 'community' no longer evoked warm and bountiful images in me. They gave me a chill. And I know that this is reality.
Cho Nam-Joo, author of KIM JI YOUNG BORN IN 1982
Under the smooth surface of the table, the readers may perceive the dissonance between the ones who wants to have close and friendly relationship with their neighbours, sharing their daily lives, and the ones who can't afford it. There are conflicts over delicate issues regarding their community and crossing of the line. The author relentlessly reveals the dark side of the word 'warm community' that we have so far been using without questioning.
Korea Herald
Gu Byeong-mo's novel Your Neighbour's Table asks a provocative question. Rebelling against the social norms and conventions, she invites us to look again at things we have taken for granted.
Hankyoreh Daily Newspaper
The book makes us rethink about problems that stem from child-rearing and caring labour in today's Korean society.
News Tomato