Violets – Kyung-Sook Shin

£14.99

De Corea, 1970.

Mae San yn blentyn unig, wedi’i halltudio o’i chymuned. Mae hi’n dod o hyd i ffrind mewn merch o’r enw Namae, nes bod un prynhawn yn newid popeth. Yn dilyn eiliad o agosatrwydd mewn maes minari, mae Namae yn gwrthod San yn dreisgar, gan ei gosod ar lwybr cythryblus.

Cawn gwrdd â San nesaf, yn 22 oed, pan fydd yn cael swydd mewn siop flodau yng nghanol dinas brysur Seoul. Yn ystod un haf cyfnewidiol, caiff San ei chyflwyno i gast chwilfrydig o gymeriadau – perchennog fud y siop, cydweithiwr dieflig, ffermwyr caredig a chwsmeriaid ymosodol – a’u hysgogi gan anobaith tawel i roi hwb i’w bywyd, mae hi’n plymio’n gyntaf i obsesiwn â ffotograffydd. Drwy gydol y cyfan, mae moment San gyda Namae yn parhau i aros yng nghefn ei meddwl.


South Korea, 1970.

San is a lonely child, ostracised from her community. She soon finds a friend in a girl called Namae, until one afternoon changes everything. Following a moment of intimacy in a minari field, Namae violently rejects San, setting her on a troubling path.

We next meet San, aged twenty-two, when she happens upon a job at a flower shop in Seoul’s bustling city centre. Over the course of one hazy, volatile summer, San is introduced to a curious cast of characters – the mute shop owner, a brash co-worker, kind farmers and aggressive customers – and fuelled by a quiet desperation to jump-start her life, she plunges headfirst into obsession with a passing magazine photographer. Throughout it all, San’s moment with Namae continues to linger in the back of her mind.

A story of thwarted desire, misogyny and erasure, Violets reveals the high stakes involved in one woman’s desperate search for both autonomy and attachment in an unforgiving society.

Translated by Anton Hur.

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