Once The Shore
Sarabande Books
Paul Yoon
“Once The Shore”

“Once The Shore” is from Paul Yoon’s debut collection of the same title (Sarabande Books, 2009). The story was selected for the Best American Short Stories 2006, edited by Ann Patchett. Stories from the collection appeared in One Story, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares and elsewhere.


ONCE THE SHORE was an astonishing debut of linked short stories set on a South Korean island that spanned over half a century–from the years just before the Korean War to the present. The eight stories in the collection reveal an intricate and unforgettable portrait of a single place in its entirety. These stories capture, with lyrical precision, the moments in which lives shift and unravel–where loss is ultimately turned into a search for reconciliation, and where the silences that pass between lovers and siblings, between parents and their children, are as powerful as the reverberations of war.


“Paul Yoon writes stories the way Faberge made eggs: with untold craftsmanship, artistry, and delicacy. Again and again another layer of intricacy is revealed, proving that something as small as a story can be as satisfying and moving as a Russian novel.”
—Ann Patchett, author of RUN and BEL CANTO.


“These are lovely stories, rendered with a Chekhovian elegance. They span from post–World War II to the new millennium, with characters of different ethnicities, yet each story has a timelessness and relevance that’s haunting and unforgettable. Yoon is a sparkling new writer to welcome and celebrate.”
—Don Lee, author of WRACK AND RUIN and YELLOW

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