The Millions

What Are We Willing to Sacrifice? On Crystal Hana Kim’s ‘If You Leave Me’

I’m normally not someone to pick up a novel described as “epic.” Perhaps it’s a sense that such large-scale works can’t capture the particular or that this genre is often the terrain of oversimplified, masculinist war stories. Such a large canvas has been popular of late, though, and women have been using the full breadth of their palettes to beautifully render key yet underrepresented stories about the United States. In the last year, narratives such as ’s about women during World War II in New York’s about gay men during the AIDS crisis in Chicagoand ’s about African-American trauma in Mississippi have embraced and transformed the genre, each in their own way. ’s debut novel belongs on that list, as

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