Miles from Nowhere

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Penguin, 2009 - Fiction - 288 pages
13 Reviews
A major new voice in fiction debuts with the electrifying and heartbreaking story of a teenage runaway on the streets of 1980s New York.
Teenage Joon is a Korean immigrant living in the Bronx of the 1980s. Her parents have crumbled under the weight of her father's infidelity; he has left the family, and mental illness has rendered her mother nearly catatonic. So Joon, at the age of thirteen, decides she would be better off on her own, a choice that commences a harrowing and often tragic journey that exposes the painful difficulties of a life lived on the margins. Joon's adolescent years take her from a homeless shelter to an escort club, through struggles with addiction, to jobs selling newspapers and cosmetics, committing petty crimes, and, finally, toward something resembling hope.
In raw and beautiful prose, Nami Mun delivers the story of a young woman who is at once tough and vulnerable, world-weary and naive, faced with insurmountable odds and yet fiercely determined to survive. In the process, Mun creates one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction and establishes herself as an extraordinarily talented new voice.
Brutally honest, linguistically inventive, and profoundly moving, "Miles from Nowhere" is a work of fiction that will haunt and inspire a generation of readers.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rincey - LibraryThing

Well, I didn't hate the book. It is beautifully written, but I just cannot get into books where I have no sympathy for the main character. I started to when they talked about her relationship with her ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kelslynn - LibraryThing

The thirteen-year-old Korean narrator of this episodic novel runs away from home, living hand to mouth on the streets of New York City. Joon moves into the world of runaways - living in shelters ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Nami Munwas born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up there and in the Bronx, New York. She has worked as a door-to-door Avon Lady, a dance hostess, a street vendor, a photojournalist, a bartender, and a criminal investigator. A graduate of University of California at Berkeley, she received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she garnered a Hopwood Award for fiction and the Farrar Prize. She has received a Pushcart Prize, as well as scholarships and residencies from the Corporation of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Her stories have been published in the 2007 Pushcart Prize anthology, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Evergreen Review, Witness, and other journals.

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