Fiction

Romance, Beyond Chance: Raising Swallows by Youn Dae-Nyeong
Youn Dae-Nyeong is adept at weaving tales about romance. There is no doubt that he has been one of the top three Korean romance writers in the past twenty years. Yoon used to create romantic stories in faraway settings, always through a dramatic encounter with a total stranger rather than someone encountered in everyday life. Romance, for Youn, is a myth that goes beyond everyday life, and love is a denial of fate. While Youn’s previous romance novels focused on the mysterious power of karma, Raising Swallows relies on the broader idea of a “meeting” rather than the narrow category...
Chick Lit, Korean Style: Style by Baek Young Ok
“Sex and the City,” a popular television series, has captivated women across the world. The hugely successful series has demonstrated how up-and-coming single women in a big city explore their true identity – through sex and shopping. Something more than a simple adoration of Carrie and Samantha is at work. The single women in “Sex and the City” openly pursue their capitalist fetishes and desires, a point that strikes many female viewers as refreshing. Taking a cue from “Sex and the City,” Baek Young Ok’s Style targets readers who avidly absorb chick lit novels. Lee Seo-jeong has been working as...
Six Degrees of Separation: Whoever You Are, However Lonely You Are by Kim Yeonsu
When intellectual sparring leads to a dead end, two university co-eds discover their connection through personal stories. What begins as a simple storytelling game leads to romance and the realization that what moves an individual touches the entire nation. In the 1980s, Korean novelists turned out stories about political struggle and oppression. At the time, typical subject matter involved people fighting off a dark reality and trying to overcome obstacles. Pent-up human desire, however, flooded the literary scene in the 1990s, like a latent volcano suddenly spewing its fiery energy. In the 21st century, something new is looming large. There...

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