An instant bestseller in Korea and the follow up to the international bestseller, Please Look After Mom; centering on a woman’s efforts to reconnect with her aging father, uncovering long-held family secrets.
Two years after losing her daughter in a tragic accident, Hon finally returns to her home in the countryside to take care of her father. At first, her father only appears withdrawn and fragile, an aging man, awkward but kind around his own daughter. Then, after stumbling upon a chest of letters, Hon discovers the truth of her father’s past and reconstructs her own family history.
Consumed with her own grief, Hon had been blind to her father’s vulnerability and her family’s fragility. Unraveling secret after secret and thanks to conversations with loving family and friends, Hon grows closer to her father, who proves to be more complex than she ever gave him credit for. After living through one of the most tumultuous times in Korean history, her father’s life was once vibrant and ambitious, but spiraled during the postwar years. Now, after years of emotional isolation, Hon learns the whole truth, from her father’s affair and involvement in a religious sect, to the dynamic lives of her own siblings, to her family’s financial hardships.
What Hon uncovers about her father builds towards her understanding of the great scope of his sacrifice and heroism, and of his generation as a whole. More than just the portrait of a single man, I Went to See My Father opens a window onto humankind, family, loss, and war. With this long-awaited follow-up to Please Look After Mom—flawlessly rendered by award-winning translator Anton Hur—Kyung-Sook Shin has crafted an ambitious, global, epic, and lasting novel.