A Canadian ex-pat and a Korean former "comfort woman," each scarred by their pasts, seek redemption.
Two separate lives become connected in South Korea: traumatized former Korean "comfort woman" Eun-young, who struggles with her past of rape and violence; and Michael, a troubled young Canadian arriving in Korea to teach ESL, whose principles and humanity are tested by Seoul’s seedy expatriate underbelly. A world away and two generations apart, their lives collide through the fiery Jin, who challenges stereotypes of her race and gender as well as Michael’s morality.
Through meticulously crafted and heart-wrenching prose, Sad Peninsula takes the reader across oceans and decades, outlining the boundaries between seduction and coercion, between love and destruction, between a past that can’t be undone and a future that seems just out of reach.
About the author
Mark Sampson is the author of five previous books: the novels The Slip, Sad Peninsula and Off Book; the short story collection The Secrets Men Keep; and the poetry collection Weathervane. Mark has published many short stories and poems in literary journals across Canada. He is a frequent book reviewer for Quill & Quire, Canadian Notes & Queries and other publications. Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, he currently lives and writes in Toronto.
Sampson deftly negotiates the varying chapters and their viewpoints, surprising us with character revelations without tipping into melodrama, and forcing us to look more closely when we might prefer to turn away.
Winnipeg Free Press
Mark Sampson…is a good, vivid writer.
[H]arrowing and deeply moving . . .
“[A] fabulously rich picture of expat life ... [C]omplex and original"
The Literary Review of Canada
Meticulously crafted, moving, and hard to put down.
The fact that readers are so emotionally engaged in discovering the answers to [the novel’s] questions indicates that the author has done a lot right here.
Quill & Quire