Fiction

Are You Living the Life You Chose?
This book is about the wanderings, agonies, and conflicts of teenagers. Their questions are always difficult for adults because they ask about things that adults try not to think about. All the Beautiful Children is a coming of age novel that deals with teenagers by subtly describing the troubles and worries they endure in the school system. Since its first release in 1996, it has gone through 25 reprints and sold over 50,000 copies, situating it as a bestseller in the genre of young adult literature. A chapter of this book was even excerpted in a high school literature textbook...
Searching for No One
In Nowhere to Be Found , her second work translated into English following Highway with Green Apples , Bae Suah does more with character and narrative in 60 pages than most novelists accomplish in 300. With concise, evocative prose, Bae merges the mundane with the strange in a way that leaves the reader fulfilled yet bewildered, pondering how exactly the author managed to pull this all off. P lot-wise, Nowhere to Be Found is pretty straightforward. Set, for the most part, in 1988, the unnamed narrator is a young temporary worker at a university in Gyeonggi Province as a sort...
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Reading Lee Ho-cheol is like walking on the edge of a cliff. The opportunity to step back to safety is always there, but the abyss feels more powerful and, worse still, deeply desirable. In Stories from the Terrifying Night , desperation, pain, the inevitable passing of time, the conflict between North and South Korea, and the thin line between life and death combine through masterful storytelling. In addition to the political and historical themes that Lee includes in these witty, satirical stories, there is a deep understanding of human nature as he explores the inner feelings we experience when confronted...
Adolescence Found
All of us are vagabond juveniles in this unpredictable universe, so does anyone understand the sensitive mind of a teenager? Comfort the Young tells us a story about a lonely teenager who gradually becomes mature by experiencing familial affection, love, and friendship. The well-known Korean author, Eun Heekyung, transforms herself into the main character in this novel, a lonely boy, in order to infiltrate the inner worlds of young boys and girls. Through an elaborate but well-connected sequence of events, the author poses a soft challenge to the traditional sense of narrative order, forcing readers to confront, not only in...
Encountering Zombies
After publishing La bibliothèque des instruments de musique and Bus Errant in the Micro-Fictions collection of Decrescenzo Éditeurs, which introduced several Korean writers such as Kim Ae-ran and Eun Heekyung, Kim Junghyuk is back with his first novel to be translated into French, Zombies, la descente aux enfers . The novel introduces Chae Ji-hoon, an amiable protagonist that readers will enjoy following around. Ji-hoon suddenly leaves his peaceful daily routine of detecting telecommunication signals alone in his car, by encountering several characters. First, he meets Bouboule 130, a joyful librarian fond of music who will soon become his best friend...
The Fruit of My Woman
Before the publication of the Chinese edition of the short story collection The Fruit of My Woman , Shanghai Literature & Art Publishing House released some titles of work by excellent contemporary Korean writers, not only well-known figures in the literary world such as Park Wan-suh, Park Bum-shin, Yun Dae-nyeong, and Sung Suk-je, but some talented young figures like Ha Seong-ran, Kim Ae-ran, and Yang Kwi-ja, as well. Equally, we should have to mention Han Kang, one of the most promising among the new generation of writers. The Korea Literature Translation Institute has recommended some contemporary Korean literature work to...
Kim Yeonsu Reaches Japanese Shores
World’s End Girlfriend , Kim Yeonsu’s collection of short stories published in Korea in 2009, was translated and published in Japan in March 2014. This book was chosen as the first of Kim’s works from his 20-year-long career to be introduced in Japan because, unlike his other works, the backgrounds and characters of these stories are not set in any particular country, ethnicity, or race. The book depicts universal themes through characters one could come across anywhere, characters who agonize over and are hurt by problems that could happen to anyone. Kim’s characters share a common trait in that they...
Walking Through Fire: I Must Be the Wind by Moon Chung-hee
The home of one’s memory will never exist again in any time or space, therefore I think of home as loss and loneliness. “My first home, Mother’s womb / has become earth in Ilsan Park cemetery / … / my high school Jinmyung by the Blue House is now a government office, / the Sangdo village house of my college a grand hotel … ” (“Where is My Home?”). Home, a nonexistent notion that frays the edges of life. Its nonexistence creates an inexplicable undercurrent of loneliness and loss that runs throughout all lives. When one realizes that they can...
In Search of a Forgotten Land: The Republic of Užupis by Haïlji
When The Repulic of Užupis by Haïlji opens, Hal, a Korean traveling to Lithuania, is explaining the purpose of his trip to an immigration officer. He has come to bury his father’s ashes in his homeland — The Republic of Užupis, an independent state not far from Vilnius. However, whenever he states his destination, it draws blank faces and laughter from immigration control, his taxi driver, and some friendly Lithuanians he meets in a hotel bar. The place he speaks of does not exist. But Hal persists. In a number of proceeding scenes, Hal regains his confidence when he sees...
Finding a Home: The Square by Choi In-hun
In Choi In-hun’s 1960 novel, The Square , “the square” represents a place where “no one knows or wants to know who you are and what you are.” Torn between two countries, two ideologies, and two histories, the novel’s protagonist, Lee Myong-jun, must find in what country his square is. When the novel opens, Myong-jun is a philosophy student in South Korea. His mother died years ago and his father defected to the North. When his father starts to broadcast against the South on Pyongyang radio, the police take Myong-jun in to ask whether he is an accomplice or shares...

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