Whale by  Cheon Myeong-kwan


Cheon Myeong-kwan

This story twists and turns through a magical and sometimes grotesque world of giants, tricksters, a girl who can communicate with elephants, a crone who controls honey bees with a whistle, the building of a cinema and the making of many bricks. Full of surprises, violence and humour, this is a page-turner on an epic scale.


The flames blazed red. The men shovelled coal into the kiln, sweat beading their thick, veiny forearms, and their faces scarlet and shiny from the heat and light of the surging flames. With each shovelful of coal black-red sparks burst up like flower petals. Chunhui was sitting in front of the kiln, staring at the blaze. Red and blue waves of fire turned the bricks crimson. Her face felt hot and it was hard to breathe, but she couldn't move. The flames billowed and reached as if to swallow her; she would be sucked in and melt away.

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