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Ed Park Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Personal Days (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Same Bed Different Dreams (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Like Cormac McCarthy, But Funny (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buffalo Noir(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark City Lights: New York Stories (Have a NYC)(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ed Park is a literary fiction novelist, one of the founding editors of the “Believer,” and at some point also edited the” Voice Literary Supplement.”

He has been employed at Columbia University where he taught creative writing and is the curator of an online collection of fictional books appearing in other books titled the “Invisible Library.”
Ed made his fiction writing debut on the Amazon Publishing platform when he published “Personal Days” his debut novel in 2008.

The work was so successful that the New York Times called it the layoff narrative for our times, even as it got a PEN Hemingway Award nomination, the Asian American Literary Award, and the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize.
The work was named a Top Ten Pop Culture Moment in the “Atlantic” and a Top Ten Fiction Book in “Time” in 2008.

While he no longer has much spare time, he somehow manages to create bootleg covers of new wave songs from the 1980s and sneaks anagrams and acrostics into his Twitter feed.

Despite being so busy, he also manages to write essays examining continuums you never knew existed, such as the connection between Borges and the magical logic of children’s books.

As a connoisseur of underappreciated books, Ed Park always felt that there was something about mainstream novels that he felt so much excluded from.

He used to be a bookworm coming of age during the 1980s, and then during the 1990s, he was enrolled in the Columbia MFA program.

Reflecting on those years, he remembers that there were very few people who had his background or looked like him. As such, he had a conscious wish to elevate novels that were out of the mainstream so that the definition of literature would become wider.
For instance, he wanted books such as Charles Portis’s “Weird Goose Chase” or a story that was penned in French but told of the experiences of a Hungarian refugee to become more mainstream.

To some extent, Ed Park hoped that what he wrote would also be included in that too. Nonetheless, when he published his debut novel “Personal Days,” Asian American identity was not a major theme.
However, the novel touches on race as it tells the story of an HR practitioner who confuses two people of color in an office that is for the most part white.

This was something that actually happened to Ed Park while he worked as an editor for the literary supplement “The Village Voice.”

It was while Ed Park was studying at Columbia that he first started thinking that it would be a good idea to get into Korean history.

Since he spent much of his childhood in Buffalo very far from the larger Korean American centers in the United States, he acknowledged that there was a lot he did not know.
To learn more, he got into a modern Korean history seminar that was then taught by American scholar Gari Ledyard.

It was this man who provided the understanding that Park needed to understand how the Korean War and Japanese colonization shaped his parents.
Ledyard was also responsible for telling him that his curiosity and passion could make a good novel.

Ed Park’s novel “Personal Days” is nothing like the usual novels.

It begins by describing life in a New York office building with the strangeness and struggles that the workers have to go through.

While it is not the best office in the world, the workers are worried given that several people have been fired in recent times.

New dramas and past workers intrude into the lives of the workers, resulting in a constant air of mystery about what happens in the workplace. They also keep fantasizing about a better life outside the office.
It is a work that is told from a third-person perspective and hence does not have a lead character. There are the workers Jill, Jonah, Pru, Crease, Laars, Jenny, Lizzie, Jack II, and the boss Sprout.
Alongside Sprout is a hypnotic and attractive woman named Maxine who has authority but is hardly ever seen.

Later on, other characters are introduced as they cause drama resulting in an interesting, humorous, and very entertaining work.

“Same Bed Different Dreams” is a sweeping and wild novel that is a great imagining of an alternate secret history of Korea.

It also looks into how it has impacted the present – loaded with mad poets and assassins, slasher films and RPGs, the perils of social media, and K-pop bands.

The work is set in 1919 at a time when the Korean Provisional Government was set up by Korean patriots in far-flung regions to protest the occupation of Korea by the Japanese.

The new government which operates in exile is for the most part symbolic and following the defeat of the Japanese in the Second World War, it disintegrates amid a civil war resulting in the South-North split that is the status quo to this day.
But what if that government still existed and worked toward reunifying Korea, even as it secretly harnessed the power and influence of a giant tech company to achieve its goals?

This is the premise of the novel that weaves together an archive of mysterious images, and three distinct narrative voices.

Twisting reality and putting a spin onto American pop culture, Korean history, and tech-fraught lives, makes for an unputdownable work.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ed Park

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