Highly acclaimed by critics, The Foreign Student is the story of a young Korean man, scarred by war, and the deeply troubled daughter of a wealthy Southern American family. In 1955, a new student arrives at a small college in the Tennessee mountains. Chuck is shy, speaks English haltingly, and on the subject of his earlier life in Korea he will not speak at all. Then he meets Katherine, a beautiful and solitary young woman who, like Chuck, is haunted by some dark episode in her past. Without quite knowing why, these two outsiders are drawn together, each sensing in the other the possibility of salvation. Moving between the American South and South Korea, between an adolescent girl's sexual awakening and a young man's nightmarish memories of war, The Foreign Student is a powerful and emotionally gripping work of fiction.
Praise for The Foreign Student
“Richly detailed. . . . Moving from the present to the past, from America to Korea, Choi brings hundreds of small scenes to life.”—New York Times Book Review
“An auspicious debut novel . . . epic in its harrowing accounts of war and intimate in its charged descriptions of the unlikely love affair at its center.”—The New Yorker
“First-time novelist Susan Choi writes gracefully, insightfuily, and with striking maturity.”—Time
“A luminous and accomplished first novel . . . that resonates with compassion-turned-ardor and an addictive melancholy vibrating beneath every line.”—Houston Chronicle
“A novel of extraordinary sensibility and transforming strageness.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Elegantly wrought.”—Vanity Fair