"We were on our way somewhere, continuously departing."
The protagonist, who became a troublemaker due to their parents' remarriage, is sent to their grandmother's countryside home during summer vacation. There, they encounter a stray dog left unattended in the rural yard, and they name it "Kaki" after the color of the persimmon tree to which the dog was tied. With Kaki, they spend carefree summer days. The days of their childhood when they wanted to go anywhere but couldn't go anywhere, as if stuck in time, linger in their memory like the buzzing of cicadas, seemingly never flowing away.
Review by Atnoon
"Melancholy of that scorching summer day."
There were moments in my childhood when I wanted to ride trains and buses, setting off without any destination in mind. It's not just limited to childhood; even now, I sometimes encounter moments where I want to depart without a set path. However, our imagination often gets trapped by the environment we've lived in, and even if the opportunity to leave arises, we end up losing our direction, unsure of where to turn our steps. Everyone has moments they wanted to escape, but they also experienced days of getting lost and wandering aimlessly. The writer depicts such memories against the backdrop of a refreshing summer landscape. They tell the story of a small existence that was together during the loneliest times but eventually disappeared... That's why this tale is about an existence that remains eternally remembered. As readers close the last chapter of the book, they will find themselves transported back to a scorching, and consequently, more poignant, summer day from their youth.
I had no idea that the story I created during the winter of 2019 in Brussels, while taking a minor in comic classes, would become my first published book. It was around the time when my grandfather had passed away, and I had many thoughts about the countryside where he lived, which led me to create this story.
This work reflects the memories I had from observing rural dogs since I was young and the emotions I experienced during my sensitive and anxious adolescence. Just like Kaki became a comfort to the protagonist, I hope this book can provide some solace to its readers.
I am deeply grateful to the representative who gave me the opportunity to publish this book and to Professor Anne Quevy, who taught me about picture books. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to my family and friends who have always supported me. Especially to my talented friend who helped me whenever I faced difficulties in writing while living abroad and to my constant companion, who provided a place of rest that words cannot describe, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I majored in illustration at Académie royale des Beaux-Arts, Belgium.
I write and draw.
|Author. Sooji Han|
|Illustrator. Sooji Han|
|135 × 192mm, 60pages|
|Hardcover Picture book|
|Date of issue Apr 17, 2021|
|© Rights for all languages available|