The Interpreter (Kim novel)

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For other uses, see Interpretation (disambiguation).
The Interpreter
Author Suki Kim
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 464 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBN 978-0-312-42224-0
OCLC 606927844

The Interpreter (2003) is Suki Kim’s first novel. In The Interpreter, Kim creates a twenty-nine-year-old Korean American court interpreter named Suzy Park who makes a startling and ominous discovery during one court case which ultimately reveals the mystery of her parents' homicide. The award winning novel, mainly a murder mystery, breaks through the stereotypical images of the happy immigrant experience with a story of pain, loss, and murder.

Plot summary[edit]

Suzy Park is a young, attractive, and achingly alone Korean American woman who works as a court interpreter for the New York City court system. She has had two rocky relationships with married men, worked a series of unsatisfying jobs, and cut ties with her family before her parents were shot dead in an unsolved double murder. The life she has chosen as an interpreter is a reflection of Suzy's searching for her own identity and trying to bridge the two cultures to both of which she feels a detachment. During one court case she discovers that her parents were not murdered by random violence, as the police had indicated, but instead had been shot by political enemies. The discovery provides the glint of a new lead for Park, and the novel tracks her investigation into what really happened, which ultimately reveals the mystery of her parents' homicide.

Awards and nomination[edit]

  • PEN Beyond Margins Award
  • Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award
  • Runner up for the PEN Hemingway Prize



Further reading[edit]

  • Kim, Jini H. (2006), From the womb of Han: transferential melancholia in Suki Kim's The Interpreter and Chang-Rae Lee's Native Speaker, M.A. Thesis, Georgetown University, OCLC 84926433