The Hive And The Honey

The Hive And The Honey


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 Gabi's Review

Winner of the prestigious 2023 Story Prize, Korean American writer Paul Yoon's 2023 short story collection is both perceptive and admirably concise. The Hive And The Honey offers readers important insights into the diverse narratives that make up the Korean diaspora. The pieces range widely in terms of setting, from the Edo Period in Japan to 90s New York. 

The Hive And The Honey tackles issues of fatherhood, alienation, and the violence faced by displaced Korean communities. Yoon uses different settings to explore the difficulty of balancing two identities: one's origin and one's adopted location.

Each of the seven stories create both complex individual characters and a sense of shared humanity. From a husband's recollection of his wife's innocent belief in plants to the discovery of goodness in difficult circumstances, this collection uses evocative imagery that keeps readers engaged and curious about what might happen next. The Hive And The Honey will appeal to readers interested in different cultures and to anyone who appreciates the skill required to write a satisfying and convincing short story.

Publishers Reviews

A boy searches for his father, a prison guard on Sakhalin Island. In Barcelona, a woman is tasked with spying on a prizefighter who may or may not be her estranged son. In the Edo Period, a samurai escorts an orphan to his countrymen. In upstate New York, a formerly incarcerated man starts a new life in a small town and attempts to build a family.

From award-winning author Paul Yoon,The Hive and the Honeyis a bold and indelible collection that portrays the vastness and complexity of diasporic communities, with each story bringing to light the knotty inheritances of their characters. How does a North Korean defector connect with the child she once left behind? What are the traumas that haunt a Korean settlement in the far east of Russia? A collection laced with beauty and cruelty,The Hive and the Honeyis the work of an author writing at the very height of his powers.