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'Gripping' Curtis Sittenfeld * 'Electrifying' Taylor Jenkins Reid * 'Remarkable' Kevin Kwan * 'Stunning' Sunday Times * 'Brilliant' Pandora Sykes
In South Korea, where impossible beauty standards and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move, four women are balancing on a razor's edge:
Kyuri, a beautiful 'room salon' girl paid to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours.
Miho, an artist whose life becomes enmeshed with the offspring of the super-wealthy elite.
Ara, a hairstylist whose obsession with a K-pop star leads her to violent extremes.
Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she can't afford.
Set in the drinking dens and beauty salons of Seoul, If I Had Your Face is an electrifying debut novel about female strength, resilience and the solace that friendship can provide.
'Cha's writing always crackles . . . Touching, compelling and icily cool' Observer
'Fascinating, eye-opening, compelling - like the film Parasite, If I Had Your Face is also an exposé of the class system in South Korea' Independent
'Absolutely stunning. . . Assured, bold, and electrifying' Taylor Jenkins Reid, Sunday Times bestselling author of DAISY JONES & THE SIX
'One of the buzziest debuts of the year, If I Had Your Face transports readers to glittering, futuristic Seoul... Essential reading' Vogue
'Culturally fascinating, emotionally layered, gripping and smart' Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of PREP and AMERICAN WIFE
'Glittering, engrossing' Helen Oyeyemi, author of GINGERBREAD
'Remarkable, brilliantly crafted and devastatingly exquisite' Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of CRAZY RICH ASIANS
LONGLISTED FOR THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2021
© Frances Cha 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020
Absolutely stunning . . . Assured, bold, and electrifying, If I Had Your Face marks the entrance of a bright new voice in fiction
Each voice in this quartet cuts through the pages so cleanly and clearly that the overall effect is one of dangerously glittering harmony. The tale told here is as engrossing as a war chant, or a mosaic formed with blades, every piece a memento sharpened on those unyielding barriers between us and our ideal lives.
If I Had Your Face is hilarious, cuttingly observant, feminist, and all-around delightful. It is hard to write a book about four protagonists and make you care for all of them-yet somehow Cha succeeds.
Troubling, kaleidoscopic, and hugely enjoyable
It's difficult to believe this is Frances Cha's first novel-she's a masterful storyteller. I couldn't put IF I HAD YOUR FACE down; I was riveted by the stories of four young women navigating life in the extreme, competitive environment of modern Seoul. I loved reading about a world I knew nothing about, and from the first page, it was clear Cha was the best possible guide. I highly recommend this novel.
Wonderful... unsettling and deeply affecting - the writing is beautifully spare, and captures with such clarity what it means for these four young women to be taught to hope for everything and yet continuously to receive nothing
Compelling, understated, casually brutal, and very cynical. I love it.
If I Had Your Face is a vivid, eviscerating depiction of social realism in contemporary Seoul. Frances Cha renders gender and class struggles with forensic detail, in a luminous voice both knowledgeable and compelling.
I love the way Frances Cha rotates between mindsets to look at how beauty and privilege influence the way women live, whilst maintaining a sly lightness
Make way for Frances Cha, an entrancing new voice who guides us into the complexities and contradictions of modern-day Seoul... I devoured it in a single sitting, and so will you.
Helena Sheffield’s life has changed enormously since contracting Long Covid – which left her unable to read. Listening to stories, though, has offered her a lifeline.
Avni Doshi, Frances Cha, Jane Fallon and more recommend their go-to novels that never fail to shine a light during dark times.