In Frances Cha's debut novel IF I HAD YOUR FACE, four young neighbors weave in and out of one another's lives in contemporary Seoul. At turns invisible and eye-catching, voiceless and effusive, self-effacing and unflinchingly ambitious, Cha's characters enact both the pathos and the humor of modern womanhood as they navigate their disparate personal and professional worlds.
“[A] powerful and provocative rendering of contemporary South Korean society, one that might be considered bleak if not for the women themselves, who occasionally surprise with their compassion and bravery. At heart, If I Had Your Face is a novel about female strength, spirit, resilience— and the solace that friendship can sometimes provide.”
– The Washington Post
For this XIX Society event, Cha will "sit down" with fellow alumna Nina Wolpow to talk about the trials and tribulations of novel-writing, amplifying women's voices, and life during and after SPS.
All members of the SPS community are invited to attend.
Frances Cha ’03
Frances grew up in the United States, Hong Kong and South Korea, and graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in English Literature and Asian Studies. For her MFA in creative writing she attended Columbia University, where she received a Dean’s Fellowship. She worked as the assistant managing editor of Samsung Economic Research Institute’s business journal in Seoul and as a travel and culture editor for CNN International in Seoul and Hong Kong. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic
, V Magazine
and The Believer
among other publications. Most recently, her short story “As Long As I Live” was published in the Korean-language anthology New York Story
(Artizan Books, Korea). She has taught Media Studies at Ewha Womens University, creative writing at Columbia University and Yonsei University, and lectured at Seoul National University. She lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters and spends summer in Seoul, Korea.
Nina Wolpow ’10
Nina Wolpow is a freelance writer in New York. She received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia and is a contributing art critic at the Brooklyn Rail, as well as an upcoming resident at Yaddo. Her non-fiction has been published by Vox, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, Bon Appétit and other outlets.