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Y/N: Book summary and reviews of Y/N by Esther Yi

Y/N

A Novel

by Esther Yi

Y/N by Esther Yi X
Y/N by Esther Yi
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  • Published Mar 2023
    224 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Surreal, hilarious, and shrewdly poignant—a novel about a Korean American woman living in Berlin whose obsession with a K-pop idol sends her to Seoul on a journey of literary self-destruction.

It's as if her life only began once Moon appeared in it. The desultory copywriting work, the boyfriend, and the want of anything not-Moon quickly fall away when she beholds the idol in concert, where Moon dances as if his movements are creating their own gravitational field; on live streams, as fans from around the world comment in dozens of languages; even on skincare products endorsed by the wildly popular Korean boyband, of which Moon is the youngest, most luminous member. Seized by ineffable desire, our unnamed narrator begins writing Y/N fanfic—in which you, the reader, insert [Your/Name] and play out an intimate relationship with the unattainable star.

Then Moon suddenly retires, vanishing from the public eye. As Y/N flies from Berlin to Seoul to be with Moon, our narrator, too, journeys to Korea in search of the object of her love. An escalating series of mistranslations and misidentifications lands her at the headquarters of the Kafkaesque entertainment company that manages the boyband until, at a secret location, together with Moon at last, art and real life approach their final convergence.

From a conspicuous new talent comes Y/N, a provocative literary debut about the universal longing for transcendence and the tragic struggle to assert one's singular story amidst the amnesiac effects of globalization. Crackling with the intellectual sensitivity of Elif Batuman and the sinewy absurdism of Thomas Pynchon, Esther Yi's prose unsettles the boundary between high and mass art,

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] stunning debut ... Strange, haunting, and undeniably beautiful, [Y/N] shines." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A surreal quest that seems tailor-made for the present moment ... [Y/N is] a heady, immersive journey into musical fandom and cultural dislocation." —Kirkus Reviews

"[A] piercing, feverish, and frequently astonishing debut." —Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

"[An] engrossing and destabilizing riff on fandom and mass media." —Celia Mattison, Vulture

"This debut novel, a Kafkaesque fever dream about fandom and obsession, arrives right on time ... Haunting yet playful, immersive yet unreal, Y/N is a brilliant dissection of consumption in all its forms—how we consume art, and how it consumes us." —Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire

"Y/N is an utterly brilliant, shining, and mesmerizing debut that will make you rethink everything you know about fandom, celebrity, and parasocial relationships." —Tamara Fuentes, Cosmopolitan

"[A] clever debut ... a true novel of the era." —Lauren Puckett-Pope, Elle

This information about Y/N was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Esther Yi

Esther Yi was born in Los Angeles in 1989 and currently lives in Leipzig, Germany.

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