LONGLISTED FOR THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2021
'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
If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul - a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret 'room salons' to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.
Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive 'room salon' is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.
'A brilliant debut' Pandora Sykes, The High Low Podcast
'Culturally fascinating, emotionally layered, gripping and smart' Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of PREP and AMERICAN WIFE
'A stunning debut' Sunday Times
'Glittering, engrossing' Helen Oyeyemi, author of GINGERBREAD
'Remarkable, brilliantly crafted and devastatingly exquisite' Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of CRAZY RICH ASIANS
A brilliant debut
One of the buzziest debuts of the year, If I Had Your Face transports readers to glittering, futuristic Seoul. Essential reading in what Jia Tolentino memorably called the age of Instagram face.
If you loved Crazy Rich Asians or Daisy Jones And The Six then this is going to be right up your street
Cha's striking first novel follows four young women in Seoul, South Korea trapped in a sphere of impossible beauty standards
A story of four women in Seoul and the way that economic and social realities determine the paths available to them
An endearing story of female friendship staged against a backdrop of elitism, sexism and the relentless quest for cosmetic perfection... Enthralling
An insightful, powerful story from a promising new voice
Cha's timely debut deftly explores the impact of impossible beauty standards and male-dominated family money on South Korean women
Mesmerizing... weaves together the complexities and contradictions of modern-day Seoul, in an ultimately uplifting story of women living in defiance of oppressive customs
A gripping tale at once unfamiliar and unmistakably universal
Avni Doshi, Frances Cha, Jane Fallon and more recommend their go-to novels that never fail to shine a light during dark times.
The writer of the eagerly awaited If I Had Your Face on Agatha Christie, portraying Korean culture, and how she’d rather be in the Maldives.