The Invisible Hotel
A startling work of literary horror about a young woman whose frightening dreams recall the long afterlife of a country’s shared trauma.
March 5, 2024
5.5 x 8.25
Yewon dreams of a hotel. In the hotel, there are infinite keys to infinite rooms—and a quiet terror she is desperate to escape. When Yewon wakes, she sees her life: a young woman, out of her job at a convenience store, trapped in the tiny South Korean village of her birth, watching her mother wash the bones of their ancestors in their decrepit bathtub. Every house has them, these rotting and fragmented bones, reminders of what they have all lost to a war that never seems to end. Yewon and her siblings were born in this bathtub—and every year women give birth to new babies in the bathtub.
Now, Yewon’s brother is stationed near the North Korean border, her sister has just undergone a life-changing tragedy, and her mother is constantly worried, her health declining. In crisis and in stasis, Yewon’s dreams of the decrepit hotel lead her to an unsettling truth about her country’s collective heritage.
A work of literary horror in the gothic tradition, The Invisible Hotel is a startling, speculative tale of political and ideological adolescence in the long afterlife of the Korean War. Recalling international trailblazers like Han Kang’s The Vegetarian and Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, The Invisible Hotel marks the arrival of a singular new voice with a sharp social acumen.