Jung Yun

Cindy Seip

Jung Yun was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. A former MacDowell fellow, her work has appeared in various publications including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Tin House, among others. Her debut novel, Shelter, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. O Beautiful: A Novel (St. Martin’s Press), follows Elinor Hanson, a fortysomething former model struggling to reinvent herself as a freelance writer, who gets an assignment to write about the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota for a prestigious magazine. It’s familiar territory. Elinor grew up near the Bakken, raised by an overbearing father and a distant Korean mother who escaped her unhappy marriage and left Elinor and her sister behind. Decades later Elinor returns to a changed place, overrun by thousands of newcomers seeking their fortunes in oil. Yet the longer she pursues her assignment, the more her past intertwines with the story she’s trying to tell – and the revelations will forever change her and the way she looks at the world. Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World, called O Beautiful “a wondrous, compelling, and insightful portrait of a North Dakota town as it struggles through a present-day oil boom. … Jung Yun’s grand novel has something special and powerful to add, something that splendidly rises above the din.”