Miles from Nowhere (Hardcover)
January 2009 Indie Next List
“It's New York in the '80s, and Joon is a teenage Korean immigrant living in the Bronx who is now on the run. Rarely does a first novel blaze across our dark night with the brilliance and fury of lightning -- but Mun's Miles From Nowhere is just that electric. A debut to cheer.”
— Nick Petrulakis, Books Inc., Alameda, CA
A major new voice in fiction debuts with the electrifying and heartbreaking story of a teenage runaway on the streets of 1980s New York.
Teenage Joon is a Korean immigrant living in the Bronx of the 1980s. Her parents have crumbled under the weight of her father's infidelity; he has left the family, and mental illness has rendered her mother nearly catatonic. So Joon, at the age of thirteen, decides she would be better off on her own, a choice that commences a harrowing and often tragic journey that exposes the painful difficulties of a life lived on the margins. Joon's adolescent years take her from a homeless shelter to an escort club, through struggles with addiction, to jobs selling newspapers and cosmetics, committing petty crimes, and, finally, toward something resembling hope.
In raw and beautiful prose, Nami Mun delivers the story of a young woman who is at once tough and vulnerable, world-weary and naive, faced with insurmountable odds and yet fiercely determined to survive. In the process, Mun creates one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction and establishes herself as an extraordinarily talented new voice.
Brutally honest, linguistically inventive, and profoundly moving, Miles from Nowhere is a work of fiction that will haunt and inspire a generation of readers.