Available for purchase at: Foyles, Waterstones, or Amazon UK

Available for purchase at: FoylesWaterstones, or Amazon UK

“A book of betrayals and borders, real and imagined, and of deceptions and desires, which beautifully and dramatically evokes the spectres of Korea’s past and the divisions of its present in ways reminiscent of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American or Ian McEwan’s The Innocent.”

– David Peace

 

About Ms. Michell

 

Hannah Michell was born in Yorkshire in 1983 and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She studied Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, then received an MA in Creative Writing from City University. She is a lecturer on Korean pop culture at the University of California, Berkeley. The Defections is her first novel.

 
 
Hanna Michell

Contact Hannah Michell via DM on Twitter.

 

What the critics are saying about The Defections...

 
A book of betrayals and borders, real and imagined, and of deceptions and desires, which beautifully and dramatically evokes the spectres of Korea’s past and the divisions of its present in ways reminiscent of Graham Greene’s ‘The Quiet American’ or Ian McEwan’s ‘The Innocent.’
— David Peace
 
Fantastic...the thriller element of the story moves at a belting pace.
— Kate Saunders, Saga Magazine
An impressively layered and carefully constructed novel, its  characters caught between languages, loyalties and worlds. Hannah Michell’s portrait of Seoul fascinates too: its dust and neon, sweat and suspicion seem worked deep into the fabric of her novel. But what catches you by surprise is the slowly-revealed audacity of her plot as suspicions and misunderstandings escalate into an international crisis. Having already earned comparison to Ian McEwan, she’s an author worth watching.
— The Daily Mail
 
Much of the pleasure of reading ‘The Defections’ comes from seeing the different plotlines play off against each other, as a perfectly explicable detail from one character’s viewpoint becomes open to misinterpretation when seen from another. We also see how easily the personal may slide into the political for these individuals. Michell has created an engaging novel which leaves the reader intrigued to see what she will write next.
— Welovethisbook.com
 

A Synopsis & Excerpt from The Defections

 

Synopsis

 

Mia is an outsider. The child of an English mother, she defies the rigid expectations of her Korean stepmother to work as a translator at the British Embassy. 

Her uncle runs a charitable - and controversial - school for North Korean defectors, and prevails upon Mia's stepmother to shelter a traumatized young student. Mia is too preoccupied to note the defector's strange behavior - or its implications. 

She has become infatuated with Thomas, a diplomat with a self-destructive streak. When an outrageous indiscretion endangers his position, it is Mia who saves him from humiliation and rescues his career. And the boundaries between them are crossed. 

As a reward for his reformation, Thomas is commissioned to audit security amongst Embassy staff. Learning of Mia's connections to the defector, he is compelled to dig deeper into the life of the woman who has captivated him. 

Suddenly, all that Mia has done to get close to Thomas begins to cause her undoing.