Catherine Chung is an American author who is known for The Tenth Muse, her breakout novel. Chung had a lifelong love of affair with reading as she grew up across the United States in places like Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. She studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and worked at a California think tank for a few years before turning back to her true love of writing.

Chung went to Cornell University for her MFA where she fully began to embrace her writing career. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Director’s Visitorship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She was also named as a Granta New Voice. Her first novel won an Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award.

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Forgotten Country (2012)Description / Buy at
The Tenth Muse (2019)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Anthologies

If You Like Catherine Chung Books, You’ll Love…

Forgotten Country was Chung’s first novel. When Janie’s sister Hannah was born, her grandmother took her aside to tell her a story. Their family, in every generation sine the Japanese occupation of Korea, has lost a daughter. Her grandmother gives Janie an important job, keep her sister safe. Years later, Hannah has cut all ties with the family and disappears. Janie remembers her duty and goes after her. This trip allows her to deal with a multitude of things, and allows her family to find its way out of a cycle of silence that they’ve been treating each other with.

Chung’s next novel, The Tenth Muse, is an exciting tale of a mathematcian who unearths her family’s story and its beginnings during World War II. Katherine has always known she is different and that her parents aren’t quite who they seem to be. She’s dedicated her life to mathematics and quests to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time. In order to do so, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II in Germany.

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