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Work Samples

O Beautiful Excerpt

This excerpt is from O BEAUTIFUL, which was published by St. Martin's/Macmillan in November of 2021. The novel is  set in my home state of North Dakota and follows an Asian American journalist as she attempts to write an article about the 2012 oil boom, which  radically transformed the western part of the state.

O BEAUTIFUL was selected as a New York Times Editors' Choice, a New York Times Group Text Book of the Month, and one of the San Francisco Chronicle's 15 Best Books of 2021

I took the accompanying photos while traveling through the area to do research.  

PDF icon O Beautiful Excerpt

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About Jung

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Jung Yun's picture
Jung Yun was born in South Korea and grew up in North Dakota. She is the author of two novels, O BEAUTIFUL (St. Martin's Press, 2021) and SHELTER (Picador, 2016). Her short fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Tin House, the Massachusetts Review, the Indiana Review, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. She makes her home in Baltimore and serves as an associate professor of English at George Washington University.... more

Short Fiction

  • Bloom - First Paragraphs

    BLOOM
    Published in the Indiana Review, Issue 40.2
    Nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2019)
     
         Yunnie employed three undergrads in her lab and one of them—the one she actually needed—was missing. She assumed it was a case of the midterm flu, which struck every semester just before exams. But of the three students she’d hired in the fall, she considered Bram the most likely to contract the imaginary bug. Bram the Ham, she called him, though not to his face. Even pale, timid Catherine, who was reliable but not terribly bright, was a more likely candidate to disappear midsemester than Andrea.
         “So you haven’t seen her lately?” Yunnie asked.
         Bram looked up from a tray of papaver samples and removed one of his earbuds, letting the twisted green wire hang in front of his chest. “What?” he almost shouted.

    To continue reading, please click the link.

    PDF icon Bloom - First Paragraphs
  • The Strange Genius of American Men - First Paragraphs

    THE STRANGE GENIUS OF AMERICAN MEN
    Published in the Massachusetts Review, issue 50.4
    Honorable Mention for a Pushcart Prize (2011)

         Alabama is bragging about his peanut fields again. Twice as long as a football field, he says. I don’t know what football is yet, but I imagine his fields are very big because Alabama spreads his arms like wings whenever he talks about them. Which is always. His arms are short and thick with muscles, cut sharp like stone. He will never be a good bird, but I smile at him anyway. Come again soon
         Great Aunt waits until he leaves, then flings open the curtain that separates us. 
         “Which one was that?” she asks. 
         “Alabama.” 
         “The one with all the peanuts?” 
         I nod.
         She waves her hand in the air, shooing away a bug I can’t see. “No farmers,” she says, snapping the curtain shut. 

    To continue reading, please click the link.

    PDF icon The Strange Genius of American Men - First Paragraphs
  • Han Gahp - First Paragraphs

    HAN GAHP
    Published in Tin House, issue 22
    Selected by Dorothy Allison for "The Best of Tin House: Stories" (2007)
     
         There was a mudslide, two villages away. A meat calf was lost, and four horses found.
         “In a field,” the boy said. “All of them, see? Four wild horses, buried up to here.” He pressed his finger to his nose and held it there until she looked.
         “And then what?” Mee asked.
         “Then twelve men came. Twelve big men, and they tried to pull the stallion free, but he just kept sinking, so one of the men shot him. Shot the rest of them too.” He stared into his empty cup as if he’d forgotten something. “My parents would like you to come visit. They said we can celebrate the birthday you missed.”
         Mee smiled, and the boy made an effort to smile back.
         “It’s been a long time. Are they well?”
         He shrugged. “The same, but that was some storm, wasn’t it? Did you notice how the rain, how it fell sideways? Like everything was turned around?”

    To continue reading, please click the link.

    PDF icon Han Gahp - First Paragraphs

Book Reviews

Which Side Are You On - Reviewed for the Washington Post

Boys and Oil - Reviewed for the New York Times

When We Fell Apart - Reviewed for the Washington Post

Edge Case - Reviewed for the Washington Post

The Comfort of Monsters - Reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books

If I Had Your Face - Reviewed for the Washington Post

A Good Neighborhood -  Reviewed for the Washington Post

Searching for Sylvie Lee - Reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books

Diary of a Murderer - Reviewed for Korean  Literature Now

Miracle Creek -  Reviewed for the Washington Post

Rainbirds - Reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books

The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves - Reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books

A Small Revolution - Reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books