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Golden Hour Books

Same Bed Different Dreams: A Novel by Ed Park (11/7/23)

Same Bed Different Dreams: A Novel by Ed Park (11/7/23)

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A wild, sweeping novel that imagines an alternate secret history of Korea and the traces it leaves on the present—loaded with assassins and mad poets, RPGs and slasher films, pop bands and the perils of social media

March, 1919. Far-flung Korean patriots establish the Korean Provisional Government to protest the Japanese occupation of their country. This government-in-exile proves mostly symbolic, though, and after Japan’s defeat in World War II, the KPG dissolves and civil war erupts, resulting in the North-South split that remains today.

But what if the KPG still existed now, today—working toward a unified Korea, secretly harnessing the might of a giant tech company to further its aims? That’s the outrageous premise of Same Bed Different Dreams, which weaves together three distinct narrative voices and an archive of mysterious images and twists reality like a kaleidoscope, spinning Korean history, American pop culture, and our tech-fraught lives into an extraordinary and unforgettable novel.

Early on we meet Soon Sheen, who works at the sprawling international technology company GLOAT, and comes into possession of an unfinished book authored by the KPG. The manuscript is a mysterious, revisionist history, tying famous names and obscure bit players to the KPG’s grand project. This strange manuscript links together figures from architect-poet Yi Sang to Jack London to Marilyn Monroe. M*A*S*H is in here, too, and the Moonies, and a history of violence extending from the assassination of President McKinley to the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007.

Just as foreign countries have imposed their desires on Korea, so too has Park tucked different dreamers into this sprawling bed of a novel. Among them: Parker Jotter, Korean War vet and appliance-store owner, who saw something--a UFO?--while flying over North Korea; Nora You, nail salon magnate; and Monk Zingapan, game designer turned writing guru. Their links are revealed over time, even as the dreamers remain in the dark as to their own interconnectedness. A thrilling feat of imagination and a step forward from an award-winning author, Same Bed Different Dreams begins as a comic novel and gradually pulls readers into another dimension—one in which utopia is possible.

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“I can’t stop thinking about Ed Park’s genius novel. Same Bed Different Dreams is an extraordinary—and hilarious—genre-busting nesting doll of comedy, science fiction, and thriller, and, at core, an epic compendium of Korean history that’s also the dark history of American foreign entanglements. Park animates neglected archives with adrenaline-fueled plotlines and a poet’s compulsion for wordplay. Same Bed Different Dreams is like no other novel I’ve read before—a cabinet of wonders that demands to be read and reread.”—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings

“I could not stop reading, thinking, and dreaming about Same Bed Different Dreams . . . A feverish, mind-altering marvel of a book.”—Hua Hsu, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Stay True

Same Bed Different Dreams is a kaleidoscope of Koreamericana; a crowd of cracked voices; a gorgeous, hilarious, provisional dream; a wonder.”—Namwali Serpell, author of The Furrows

“A deeply original work from a brilliant and assured voice, Same Bed Different Dreams is a novel to get lost in, a novel of discoveries, a synthesis of history and speculation, a feat of imagination. I read it with awe and admiration for its construction, and for the sheer pleasure of its language.”— Charles Yu, National Book Award–winning author of Interior Chinatown

“No blurb could adequately praise or even sum up this novel. All I know is that Same Bed Different Dreams belongs in the company of a rare few dark and comic masterpieces of invention. It disarmed me with sheer delight.”—Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“Your view of twentieth-century history will be enlarged and altered by Ed Park’s mysterious and panoramic novel. This is a Gravity’s Rainbow for another war, an unfinished war. Having been enlisted in the Korean Provisional Government, I now await my instructions.”—Jonathan Lethem, New York Times bestselling author of The Fortress of Solitude

“This is a book of dizzying scope and erudition, which wraps its arms around the last hundred-plus years of Korean and Korean American history. At the same time, it manages to be very funny, very intimate and playful, and interested in basic questions of existence, beginning with, ‘Why are we here and what gives us meaning?’ You will not find a more impossible-to-categorize book this year.”—Dave Eggers, author of The Circle

“Totally astounding. Same Bed Different Dreams emits a prismatic intelligence operating on multiple frequencies. It’s funny, melancholic, and strange. I didn’t know I’d been waiting for a book like this until I encountered it.”—Ling Ma, author of Severance and Bliss Montage

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About the Author

Ed Park is the author of the novel Personal Days. He was a founding editor of The Believer, the literary editor of The Village Voice, and an editor at Penguin Press. His stories and articles have appeared in The New YorkerBookforumThe New York Review of Books, and Harper’s. He wrote a science-fiction column for the Los Angeles Times and a comics column for The New York Times. He lives in Manhattan with his family.

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