Ed Park presents 'Same Bed Different Dreams: A Novel'

A wild, sweeping novel that imagines an alternate secret history of Korea and the traces it leaves on the present—loaded with assassins and mad poets, RPGs and slasher films, pop bands and the perils of social media


Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome The Believer founder Ed Park for a reading of his new novel, Same Bed Different Dreams, a book our Managing Partner Robert Sindelar calls "a wild, disorienting, non-stop journey that is as thrilling and comical as it is thoughtful and hypnotic." Park will be joined in conversation by Spencer Ruchti, the author events manager for Third Place Books. This event is free and open to the public.

"Park seeks to encompass the vast Korean diaspora, but he’s also fleeing realism, a personal diaspora, away from conventional forms. His totems propel us forward: an underground cell whose members have nine fingers; the dawn of A.I.; hockey lore; a Zippo lighter; the lines and circles of Korean script." —The New York Time Book Review

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Same Bed Different Dreams is the November selection for our Signed First Editions Club! Our Signature Reads subscription box delivers six new fiction titles to your door each year, selected by our booksellers from both established award-winning authors and the best debuts. Subscribe to our Signed First Edition Club now, and you'll receive a copy of Same Bed Different Dreams signed by the author, a letter from our staff sharing our love for the book, a custom bookmark, and a surprise gift. Join today, or give a year of books to the bibliophile in your life.

About Same Bed Different Dreams. . .

March, 1919. Far-flung Korean patriots establish the Korean Provisional Government to protest the Japanese occupation of their country. This government-in-exile proves mostly symbolic, though, and after Japan’s defeat in World War II, the KPG dissolves and civil war erupts, resulting in the North-South split that remains today.

But what if the KPG still existed now, today—working toward a unified Korea, secretly harnessing the might of a giant tech company to further its aims? That’s the outrageous premise of Same Bed Different Dreams, which weaves together three distinct narrative voices and an archive of mysterious images and twists reality like a kaleidoscope, spinning Korean history, American pop culture, and our tech-fraught lives into an extraordinary and unforgettable novel.

Early on we meet Soon Sheen, who works at the sprawling international technology company GLOAT, and comes into possession of an unfinished book authored by the KPG. The manuscript is a mysterious, revisionist history, tying famous names and obscure bit players to the KPG’s grand project. This strange manuscript links together figures from architect-poet Yi Sang to Jack London to Marilyn Monroe. M*A*S*H is in here, too, and the Moonies, and a history of violence extending from the assassination of President McKinley to the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007.

Just as foreign countries have imposed their desires on Korea, so too has Park tucked different dreamers into this sprawling bed of a novel. Among them: Parker Jotter, Korean War vet and appliance-store owner, who saw something--a UFO?--while flying over North Korea; Nora You, nail salon magnate; and Monk Zingapan, game designer turned writing guru. Their links are revealed over time, even as the dreamers remain in the dark as to their own interconnectedness. A thrilling feat of imagination and a step forward from an award-winning author, Same Bed Different Dreams begins as a comic novel and gradually pulls readers into another dimension—one in which utopia is possible.


Praise for Same Bed Different Dreams. . .

“Genius . . . Same Bed Different Dreams is an extraordinary—and hilarious—genre-busting nesting doll of comedy, science fiction, and thriller and, at its core, an epic compendium of Korean history that’s also the dark history of American foreign entanglements. It’s like no other novel I’ve read before—a cabinet of wonders that demands to be read and reread.”
—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings

“I can’t stop reading, thinking, and dreaming about this feverish, mind-altering marvel of a book.”
—Hua Hsu, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Stay True

“A book of dizzying scope and erudition . . . very funny, intimate, and playful and interested in basic questions of existence, beginning with: Why are we here and what gives us meaning?”
—Dave Eggers, author of The Circle

Ed Park is the author of the novels Same Bed Different Dreams and Personal Days, which was named one of Time’s top 10 books of 2008 and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. His stories and nonfiction appear in The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksHarper’sThe AtlanticBookforum, and many other publications. He is a founding editor of The Believer and the former literary editor of The Village Voice. Born in Buffalo, Ed lives in Manhattan with his family. He currently teaches writing at Princeton University. (Photo credit: Sylvia Plachey)

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

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For media inquiries, access inquiries, or questions about our Covid-19 policies, please email events@thirdplacebooks.com or call our Lake Forest Park store at (206) 366-3311.