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Staff Choice: Sywert
The ABC Blog
Squid Game meets The Left Hand of Darkness meets Under the Skin in this radical literary sensation from South Korea about an alien's hunt for food that transforms into an existential crisis about what it means to be human.
After crashing their spacecraft in the middle of nowhere, a shapeshifting alien find themself stranded on an unfamiliar planet and disabled by Earth’s gravity. To survive, they will need to practice walking. And what better way than to hunt for food? As they discover, humans are delicious.
Intelligent, clever, and adaptable, the alien shift their gender, appearance, and conduct to suit a prey’s sexual preference, then attack at the pivotal moment of their encounter. They use a variety of hunting tools, including a popular dating app, to target the juiciest prey and carry a backpack filled with torturous instruments and cleaning equipment. But the alien’s existence begins to unravel one night when they fail to kill their latest meal.
Thrust into an ill-fated chase across the city, the alien is confronted with the psychological and physical tolls their experience on Earth has taken. Questioning what they must do to sustain their own survival, they begin to understand why humans also fight to live. But their hunger is insatiable, and the alien once again targets a new prey, not knowing what awaits. . . .
Dolki Min’s haunting debut novel is part psychological thriller, part searing critique of the social structures that marginalize those who are different—the disabled, queer, and nonconformist. Walking Practice uncovers humanity in who we consider to be alien, and illuminates how alienation can shape the human experience.
Walking Practice features 21 black-and-white line drawings throughout.
Translated from the Korean by Victoria Caudle
View recommendations from our booksellers on a range of subjects as well as personal staff choice lists.