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The Disaster Tourist

List Price: $16.95

August 4, 2020 | Paperback | 5.4 x 8.2, 208 pages | ISBN 9781640094161
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Welcome to the desert island of Mui, where a paid vacation to paradise is nothing short of a disaster in this “mordantly witty novel [that] reads like a highly literary, ultra-incisive thriller (Refinery29).

Jungle is a cutting-edge travel agency specializing in tourism to destinations devastated by disaster and climate change. And until she found herself at the mercy of a predatory colleague, Yona was one of their top representatives. Now on the verge of losing her job, she’s given a proposition: take a paid “vacation” to the desert island of Mui and pose as a tourist to assess the company’s least profitable holiday.

When she uncovers a plan to fabricate an extravagant catastrophe, she must choose: prioritize the callous company to whom she’s dedicated her life, or embrace a fresh start in a powerful new position? An eco-thriller with a fierce feminist sensibility, The Disaster Tourist introduces a fresh new voice to the United States that engages with the global dialogue around climate activism, dark tourism, and the #MeToo movement.

About The Authors

YUN KO-EUN is the author of several novels and short story collections published in South Korea. She is a recipient of the Hankyoreh Literary Award, the Lee Hyo-seok Literary Award, and the Kim Yong-ik Literary Award. The Disaster Tourist is her second book to be published in English. She lives in Seoul, South Korea.

LIZZIE BUEHLER studied comparative literature at Princeton University and holds an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa. Her writing and short translations appear in Asymptote, Azalea Magazine, Litro, The Massachusetts Review, and Translation Review.

"[A] mordantly witty novel . . . This propulsive novel reads like a highly literary, ultra-incisive thriller; it reminds us that the disasters with which we are now grappling with on a near daily basis are not acts of god, they're acts of man." --Kristin Iverson, Refinery29

"South Korean author Yun's spare but provocative novel offers perceptive satire laced with disconcerting imagery . . . Yun cleverly combines absurdity with legitimate horror and mounting dread. With its arresting, nightmarish island scenario, this work speaks volumes about the human cost of tourism in developing countries." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ko-Eun's ecothriller skillfully explores the intertwined themes of tourism, livelihood, greed, and the value of human life." --Booklist

"A sharp sendup of society's obsession with the next hot thing--and the steep toll it extracts on very real lives." --Kirkus Reviews

"Throughout Disaster Tourist, there is a sense of impending catastrophe, of something huge and uncontrollable swallowing up those who spend their lives packaging, controlling and creating these macabre tours. The author feels present throughout, like a god watching her characters' acts of hubris and deciding how and when to smite them. In this phenomenal book, Yun demonstrates how disaster tourism is a kind of theatre: people are 'merchandise', the reality tourists just 'a shadow of reality'." --Claire Kohda Hazelton, The Spectator

"A gripping literary thriller about disaster, adventure, and a crisis of conscience that will resonate with any traveler." --Jennifer Croft, author of Homesick and winner of the Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Olga Tokarczuk's Flights

"An endlessly surprising and totally gripping read, The Disaster Tourist is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. It questions every aspect of life we so often take for granted, smashing apart any easy distinctions between natural and artificial, normal and abnormal, peaceful and violent, personal and political. There could not be a more prescient moment for this too-real fiction about how we create our own disasters on every scale and what resilience might mean in the face of catastrophe." --Elvia Wilk, author of Oval

"A labyrinth of catastrophes and cataclysms, The Disaster Tourist is a precisely penned novel that lays bare the human condition. Mysterious, evocative, and rich." --Sarah Rose Etter, author of The Book of X

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