This review is just a really brief plug for the book as I am backlogged on reviewing duties. Nami Mun’s Miles from Nowhere is an unabashed and unadorned account of a 13 year-old Korean American runaway, Joon, who flees the black hole of a broken home only to find yet another version of a black hole out on the streets. Episodic in structure, the novel never also doesn’t provide much of a positive outcome, only the glimpse into the possibility of a potential future, where the main character comes to realize the intricacies in her family relationships and how she too must learn to grant herself responsibility and relief from some of the demons that have been haunting her. Joon takes up many subject positions: hostess/bar girl, avon lady, heroin addict, narcotics anonymous member, and we feel the monotony and the circularit of the runaway's life; another day, another hustle. The novel is reminiscent of Evelyn Lau’s Diary of a Streetkid in terms of content, but as we recall Lau’s text was a memoir, and here, one can’t help but wonder what elements might have been taken from Mun’s own life. Regardless, the novel is an impressive read, relentless and fierce in its approach, unsentimental in a way that reminds you that fiction doesn’t necessarily have to be escapist and yet can still in the most paradoxical of ways compel one to read onward regardless of the most horrifying and tragic circumstances.
This is not the cover of the US hardcover version, but it's nice and big =).