Translated by: Sean Lin Hilbert
Publisher: Angry Robot, 2021
From the agent’s website:
The Cabinet is a story about the documents that record these symptomers and the man who manages the documents in Cabinet 13. This seemingly ordinary, old cabinet is filled with stories that are peculiar, strange, eye-pop- ping, disgusting, enraging, and touching. However, the fast changing world is also full of all sorts of unbelievable things. Perhaps symptomers exist not only in the novel but also in the real world. Perhaps some of us do not accept our past and instead, erase our memories and create new ones. Some of us might want to become a wooden doll or a cat rather than live in pain as a human. And if you look around, you can find those who can love no one but themselves or their alter egos.
The narrator is an office worker in his 30s, as ordinary as the cabinet. But he once spent 178 days drinking nothing but cans of beer. And his colleague Son Jeong-eun is a quiet, chubby girl who draws nobody’s attention. But she also has a strange habit of devouring more than 100 pieces of sushi at once. In this novel, the cabinet is a container that holds all the truths of the world. Kim Un-su puts truth into the cabinet “as it is” and keeps it fresh under prop- er temperature and moisture, utilizing his precise prose and rich style. Each episode, preposterous and weird, is intricately interwoven with the narrator’s story are like Lego blocks that form a perfectly assembled structure. Unfolding peculiar and heart-freezing episodes, the author tells us that this is an ‘ordinary’ story and at the same time, the truth “as it is,” as natural as the wind blowing, flowers blossoming and snow falling. The moment you turn the last page of the book, you will come to think about which strange stories are inside your own cabinet. And you will be also curious about what story the author will pull out of his cabinet next time.
Kim Un-su made his debut as a writer in 2002 through the Jinju News Fall Literary Contest with short stories, “Easy Breezy Writing Class” and “Dan Valjean Street” and the 2003 DongA Ilbo Spring Literary Contest with his mid-length novel “Farewell, Friday.” His first full-length novel The Cabinet received the 12th Munhakdongne Novel Award.
Thrilled to announce that Eleanor Teasdale of Angry Robot has acquired World English Rights to Un-su Kim’s first novel, The Cabinet. It is a brilliant literary sci-fi/literary social commentary that is universal : a political social commentary of our world today also. Un-su Kim was so prescient about the state of the world and The Cabinet is his classic – one of a kind – novel… his Fahrenheit 451, Clockwork Orange, his Metamorphosis. Geek Love meets Alice in Wonderland. The book is 392 pages and was first published in Korea in 2006 by Munhakdongne. Un-su Kim’s second novel The Plotters was sold in twenty countries including to Doubleday US and Fourth Estate UK, and film rights were sold to Ink Factory, who are developing the script now.