“Marigold Mind Laundry”
By Yun Jung-eun
Essayist Yun Jung-eun has returned with a full-length novel for the first time in 11 years. Since its release on March 6, the fantasy novel has consistently ranked among the top 5 on the nation's bestseller lists.
The story unfolds in a peculiar laundromat that mysteriously appeared on a hill in the middle of the night. Ji-eun, an enigmatic woman with a pale complexion and long, curly, black hair, serves hot tea to visitors at the laundry. Those who drink her tea confide their secrets that they have never shared with anyone else, and ask her to erase their painful memories, as if wiping away a stain from a shirt. The narrative depicts various episodes of the visitors -- childhood marred by poverty, forsaken dreams, betrayals by loved ones and wounds from school bullying.
Ji-eun herself has a painful past. She was born with two remarkable abilities but her abilities manifested themselves without her knowledge and led to an overnight separation from her parents. She has been in search of her parents ever since.
The book highlights the courage to acknowledge our wounds and open our hearts, as well as the compassion we have for our friends. Yun writes in the author’s note: “This book explores how sorrow and joy are interconnected, just as the sun and moon coexist in the same sky. … I learned that scars can blossom into flowers, that bright sadness does exist, and that a single person’s drive and faith can reignite our will to live on."