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Highway with Green Apples

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  19 reviews
This story was originally published in Day One, a weekly literary journal dedicated to short fiction and poetry from emerging writers.

Award-winning Korean writer Bae Suah tells the story of a young woman in search of meaning as she considers her fate in modern Seoul. For this aspiring artist, there seems to be no escape from life’s monotony. After leaving her family under
Kindle Edition, Kindle Single, 47 pages
Published January 8th 2014 by StoryFront (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
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 ·  154 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Paul Fulcher
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Because life has not turned out the way I wanted it to. Because that’s how it always is—as a child, you get no love from your parents, and at school, you get bad grades and never catch anyone’s eye. And after you’re all grown up, you keep peeking in the door of the gynecology clinic, and then wait for an hour, and another hour, at the café where a man has promised to meet you, gulping down several cups of weak coffee before leaving alone in the dark. Then, to top it off, the cat that crosses you ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bae Suah is simply amazing. She has such a gift for evoking that commingling of emotion and memory that is so hard to articulate and yet which informs our perceptions of people and relationships. What do green apples ostensibly have to do with a young woman's existential crisis? It's the vividness of their color to her as an artist; eating them on the final, lonely trip with her ex-boyfriend during which he mostly ignored her; and the odd yet resigned sense of possibly ending up as a poor old wo ...more
Charles Montgomery
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A decent enough book, but it is definitely for a reader of a certain age and sex, likely a woman in her 20's and 30's, partly because this is the topic of the novella: the existential crisis a 25 year old is going through realizing that she is no longer exactly young, and has no vision or meaning that can help her to see the future.

A chance meeting with a peddler of apples, starts a chain of reminiscences that lead to a melancholic, perhaps even bleak ending. This is a good example of a certain
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good short story
Sonam Dubey
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I find this story quite confusing to be honest. I felt a little bit bored in between too. Not so comforting either. That's why a 2 star! ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(I feel like I'm making the most out of my Kindle Unlimited subscription, at least before it gets taken away from me...heh.)

This is one of the books that got my attention as it is set in Korea and describes pretty much places I've been to (in South Korea lol). I never really like how some books in Korean get translated into English. Not every book is meant to be translated, I guess (which is also why I try to learn other languages or at least research about the context of a literature before I d
Feb 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: short-stories
It failed to evoke any feelings in me other than boredom. Maybe something was lost in translation.
Thainara Amorim
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This story was so weird, I don't know if I enjoyed it. ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy short stories
Recommended to Shriya by: No-one
Impressed with the quality and content in this short story based in Korea with Korean characters.
Simple book translated into English in the 90s.
Mareiah Alfonso
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5. I liked the beginning but it became redundant and off for me.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
One aspect of Highway with Green Apples I loved was the structure of the story, with a mix of time strands taking the reader back and forth in time, but gently, with the various scenes almost melting into one another.  There’s a strong focus on memories and nostalgia, with some beautiful descriptive writing evoking the times described: the smell of the apples bringing back the road trip; the snowy impromptu get-together in the dark; the childhood photo on a hot day, blinding light, heat and swea ...more
Soumya Prasad
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it

It is not very easy to talk about the basic human emotions and still have someone interested in it. The author delves deep into the psyche of a 25 year old who comes from a toxic family. The story goes on to show how much the right upbringing matters. One does tend to lose faith in the concept of love if you have sparring parents and this is seen well in our protagonist. Everything about her life seems to revolve around pessimism and negative vibes. Well, with a back story like that, I can t
Robert Gebhardt
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written novella. I almost want to reread it.

Like her other novels, time is relative here. This novel is actually more straightforward in a way, but things get mixed up, whether due to faulty memory (she even admits as much at one point) or due to stream of consciousness.
The narrator starts with talking about taking a car trip with her (then) partner toward a fishing village on the west coast. They have just stopped to buy some green apples from an old lady on the road. This leads
James F
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Bae Suah is one of the best known contemporary women authors from South Korea; her book Recitations is the January reading for the group I am in on Goodreads. Highway with Green Apples is one of her first works, a short story which is available free as a "Kindle Single." The narrator and her friends are young women who are lonely and alienated, and looking for emotional support in various failed or failing relationships with boyfriends. The author is obviously a good writer but I am looking forw ...more
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Loved the premise of this book. The purposelessness and routine and fatigue with life in mid 20s when it's not the way you thought and you don't feel much and you don't know or care about what the future holds. But I just couldn't feel anything for the protagonist or understand the weird time jumps and back and forths and found it all a bit too confusing and jumbled up. ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, romance, owned
The book begins with the protagnist's date wit her ex. It goes on as the heroin gets older and learns more about life. I couldn't see any growth in her character. She remains the same girl ahe was at 10 but she learna to accept herself as she is. A good, light sunny day beach read. ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
a prelude to nowhere to be found.
Eli Hinze
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Check out this review and others on my blog!

This book did zero for me. It didn’t pull on my heartstrings, -heck, it didn’t make me feel anything-, it didn’t interest me, and it was cardboard from beginning to end.

The characters were relatively flat with little to no personality of their own. The MC would state what certain people were like, but we weren’t shown it at all.

The pacing was off and the scene changes confusing, to put it mildly. I had no idea whether something was happening within the
Ingrid Costa
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Dec 16, 2020
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jas & jet
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Aug 24, 2019
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Chanwoo Park
rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2014
Geetika Puri
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May 02, 2020
rated it it was ok
Aug 26, 2020
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Nov 05, 2016
rated it it was ok
Feb 21, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2020
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Bae Suah, one of the most highly acclaimed contemporary Korean authors, has published more than a dozen works and won several prestigious awards. She has also translated several books from the German, including works by W. G. Sebald, Franz Kafka, and Jenny Erpenbeck. Her first book to appear in English, Nowhere to be Found, was longlisted for a PEN Translation Prize and the Best Translated Book Aw ...more

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