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One Thousand Chestnut Trees - Mira Stout

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One Thousand Chestnut Trees
Mira Stout
Paperback / softback
Collins Flamingo
UK Publication Date

An epic tale of an enigmatic land - Korea - and one woman's search for her past Uncle Hong-do arrives in Vermont from Korea to see the sister he has never met, a concert violinist long settled in America. His colourful visit turns his teenage niece Anna's world upside down, disrupting her cosy existence with his eccentric customs, forcing into it a fresh and intriguing tang of Korea. Then, too soon, he returns to Seoul. Years later, Anna, now an artist in Manhattan, finds herself hemmed in by drink, debt, dumb suitors and a dearth of happiness. Something is missing, and she too leaves for the orient, to uncover her family's elusive history. Her departure stirs up vivid, shocking memories for her mother, of her gilded childhood in Korea and the story of her noble clan's fall from power. Long ago, her grandfather, Lord Min, commanded his own private armies and his vast estates straddled North and South. In defiance of centuries of barbarous invasions - by the Japanese, Manchus, and finally the Communists - he built a temple high in the mountains, and planted one thousand chestnut trees to shield it from view. Now, generations later, his trees call back his great-granddaughter, and Anna sets out with Uncle Hong-do to find the hidden temple.

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MIRA STOUT's internationally acclaimed first novel, One Thousand Chestnut Trees, was nominated for the IMPAC award, first runner up for the Shiva Naipaul Award and chosen for the New York Public Library 'Books for the New Year'. Her long-awaited second novel, Moon Trees is soon to be published. Her first play, A Cool Dry Place was developed by The National Theatre Studio and by The Old Vic. She is developing two film projects, and lives in London.

'A startlingly impressive debut. This marvellous - and very moving - book tells its Korean story stylishly and with great skill.'
William Trevor

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