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A genre-defying, continents-spanning saga of Korean myth, scientific discovery, and the abiding love that binds even the most broken of families.

Elsa Park is a particle physicist at the top of her game, stationed at a neutrino observatory in the Antarctic, confident she's put enough distance between her ambitions and the family ghosts she's run from all her life. But it isn't long before her childhood imaginary friend—an achingly familiar, spectral woman in the snow—comes to claim her at last.

Years ago, Elsa's now-catatonic mother had warned her that the women of their line were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean myth and legend. But beyond these ghosts, Elsa also faces a more earthly fate: the mental illness and generational trauma that run in her immigrant family, a sickness no less ravenous than the ancestral curse hunting her.

When her mother breaks her decade-long silence and tragedy strikes, Elsa must return to her childhood home in California. There, among family wrestling with their own demons, she unravels the secrets hidden in the handwritten pages of her mother’s dark stories: of women’s desire and fury; of magic suppressed, stolen, or punished; of the hunger for vengeance.

From Sparks Fellow, Tin House alumna, and Harvard graduate Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn is a wondrous and necessary exploration of the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.

Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Folklorn Reviews

  • Celeste Ng

    Ghost story, family saga, parable, feminist reimagined myth: Angela Hur’s hugely ambitious FOLKLORN is a blend of all these and more. This spellbinding shape-shifter of a novel tackles questions of ...

  • Lady Amanda

    I keep seeing everyone making lists of Asian authored books to read for AAPI Heritage Month this month and I have the book for you right here. This is the one. Stop leaving it off of your lists. Read ...

  • Janelle

    Folklorn is a quite beautiful story that spans quite different topics from physics to folklore, with childhood trauma, mental illness, domestic violence, racism, war , stillbirths, death, myth, religi...

  • Emmett

    *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Folklorn is an incredible story. It is beautifully written and engaging from beginning to end. The author leaves you...

  • ?Ari

    4.5 maddening stars I'm not treating myself medically. I'm curing myself with symbol and ritual, the only way to fight mystery and magic. Dr. Elsa Park, an experimental particle physicist, is at the...

  • ?acarena

    "You and I-we are descended from women whose lives have been degraded into common folktales."Angela Mi Young Hur has crafted a unique story. She has gracely woven a modern folktale using complex threa...

  • Sarah Jayyn

    🎀🎀🎀🎀🎀 (five stars as rated in red ribbons trailing along behind your friend each time she visits)Stationed at a research center on Antarctica, Elsa Park is confident that she’s finall...

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.DNF'd @ 20% Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur sounded like the kind of magical realism story I would enjoy, but unfortunately it ended u...

  • Emma Cathryne

    Thank you to NetGalley for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was a beautiful, highly introspective novel about the tension between physics and folklore, inherited trauma and ...

  • Danny

    I received this fascinating new book from Erewhon Books via Netgalley (thanks!) in exchange for an honest review.‘Folklorn’ is an incredibly ambitious novel soaked in myth- it is a diasporic, fami...