If I Had Your Face
Gdybym miała twoją twarz
Frances Cha grew up in the United States, Hong Kong and South Korea, and graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in English Literature and Asian Studies. For her MFA in creative writing she attended Columbia University, where she received a Dean’s Fellowship. She worked as the assistant managing editor of Samsung Economic Research Institute’s business journal in Seoul and as a travel and culture editor for CNN International in Seoul and Hong Kong. Her writing has appeared in "The Atlantic", "V Magazine", "WWD" and "The Believer" among other publications. Most recently, her short story As Long As I Live was published in the Korean-language anthology New York Story (Artizan Books, Korea). She has taught Media Studies at Ewha Womens University, creative writing at Columbia University and Yonsei University and lectured at Seoul National University. She divides her time between Brooklyn and Seoul.
A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossibly high standards of beauty, secret room salons catering to wealthy men, strict social hierarchies, and K-pop fan mania. Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a "room salon," an exclusive bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may come to threaten her livelihood. Her roommate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea's biggest companies. Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplace. And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy. Together, their stories tell a gripping tale that's seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace.