The Old Woman with the Knife
"Darkly funny, this South Korean novel examines the universal challenge of aging while maintaining societal relevance." —The Washington Post
"Sardonic and funny, as it probes expectations around aging women and their bodies." —LitHub
"Skillfully rendered...a thriller with heart."
"A brist narrative that offers a thoughtful reflection on societal attitudes on the aging process . . . In Kim's fluid translation, the novel . . . offer[s] a broader social commentary." —New York Times Book Review
"An unparalleled story only Gu Byeong-mo could create, with a groundbreaking female character as captivating as any in literature."
—Kyung-Sook Shin, Man Asian Prize–winning author of Please Look After Mom
"The Old Woman with the Knife is a wild thrill of a novel. I found myself clutching my chest as I turned each page: from fright, heartbreak, and from the devastating gallows humor. It is about revenge and retribution, aging and death, and the quotidian woes of a bureaucratic job—even if that job is murder-for-hire. Hornclaw, our 65-year-old assassin main character, defies expectations: she is brutal, thoughtful, and almost as tender as her beloved dog, Deadweight, who truly steals the show."
—Gabriella Burnham, author of It Is Wood, It Is Stone
"A resonant K-noir treat."
—Luke Jennings, author of the Killing Eve series
“The Old Woman with the Knife is a deeply compassionate and rebellious novel. Thrilling and richly meditative, the novel excavates memory, modern life on the edge, and the absolute persistence of the self. With poetic grace, Gu Byeong-mo’s assassin transcends age, power, and the expectations of a society bent on erasing her.”
—Michael Zapata, author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
"The Old Woman with the Knife is unique—a gripping thriller as well as a deeply thoughtful book about out attitudes to ageing and grief. Wonderful stuff."
—Doug Johnstone, author of Tombstoning
"This startling work upends every stereotype of old ladies and killers...unforgettable."