I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Frances Cha, author of the debut novel, IF I HAD YOUR FACE for Columbia Fiction Foundry. Frances’ novel, published by Penguin Random House, was named best book of 2020 by NPR, TIME Magazine, USA Today, Bustle, Esquire, New York Post, and InStyle Magazine.
This riveting novel, set in a contemporary South Korea, follows the stories of four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty. The novel explores themes including Korean beauty culture, plastic surgery, friendship, and brutal social hierarchies.
Frances, a former travel and culture editor for CNN in Seoul, grew up in the United States, Hong Kong, and South Korea. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the Columbia University MFA writing program, she has written for The Atlantic, The Believer, and the Yonhap News Agency, among others, and has lectured at Columbia University, Ewha Womans University, Seoul National University, and Yonsei University.
I had a great time interviewing Frances via Zoom to celebrate the paperback release of her novel. Frances’ insights were fascinating, and it was fun to talk to her and hear her thoughts on the book and her journey to publication (even though there were a couple glitches from my side of the presentation, like a blurry feed and my face too close to the screen)!
Here’s to figuring out how to bring content and conversation into the world in a challenging year, as we developed new skills and found ways to connect from the cobbled-together corners of our home!
To watch the interview, click here.