Publication Date: 03/03/2022 ISBN: 9781838856434 Category:

The Old Woman With the Knife

Gu Byeong-mo, Chi-Young Kim

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication Date: 03/03/2022 ISBN: 9781838856434 Category:
Paperback / Softback




Hornclaw is a sixty-five-year-old female contract killer who is considering retirement. A fighter who has experienced loss and grief early on in life, she lives in a state of self-imposed isolation, with just her dog, Deadweight, for company.

While on an assassination job for the ‘disease control’ company she works for, Hornclaw makes an uncharacteristic error, causing a sequence of events that brings her past well and truly into the present.

Threatened with sabotage by a young male upstart and battling new desires and urges when she least expects them, Hornclaw steels her resolve, demonstrating that no matter their age, the female of the species is always more deadly than the male.

Publisher Review

Electrifying. An utterly thrilling, illuminating read with a radical heroine at its heart. I loved it -- IRENOSEN OKOJIE The Old Woman with the Knife is unique - a gripping thriller as well as a deeply thoughtful book about our attitudes to ageing and grief. Wonderful stuff -- DOUG JOHNSTONE The Old Woman With the Knife will sweep you away. This electric novel will have you thinking about its beautiful, melancholy, awe-inspiring force for a long time. The last page will end up slicing your heart. I can't remember who I used to be before I read this book -- KO-EUN YUN, author of THE DISASTER ARTIST Brutality and tenderness meet unexpectedly in this strikingly original thriller that brings into focus questions of ageing and erasure, legacy and compassion. Boldly imagined and deftly executed, The Old Woman With the Knife is an unforgettable experience -- RACHEL YODER, author of NIGHTBITCH Gu's unfaltering focus and masterful writing conjure up a persuasive, transformative narrative of a woman who had to live like an emotionless machine and eventually comes to acknowledge the very human and universal emotion deep within herself . . . Gu's mastery of storytelling shines * * Kiho Ilbo * * Gu says that the distance between imagination and daydreaming is but a millimetre. She's the writer who beats down the boundary between reality and imagination . . . Her writing is so evocative and haunting, even after I finished the book . . . I had to revisit The Old Woman With the Knife four times in three months * * Civic News * * This novel breaks out of the box of what constitutes "a mystery thriller with a killer as the heroine" and into a much broader literary territory. The Old Woman With the Knife is a cruel yet beautiful study on what is the fate of being, on bruising and disintegrating life, and on all the inevitable truths of human life * * Chunji Ilbo * * There has never been a Korean novel with such a groundbreaking heroine * * Segye Ilbo * * The sixty-something female killer Hornclaw, who's been making a living as a professional killer, might come off as an ordinary woman at first sight, but is an intimidating person with quite the muscle and ammunition. I couldn't hope for a better heroine - a truly powerful character with an ageing human body * * Book DB * *

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