Essays

Giving Voice to Fragile, Introspective Souls: About Shin Kyung-sook
Writer Shin Kyung-sook received acclaim for capturing her characters’ subtle interior shifts and their existential depths in Where the Harmonium Once Stood and continued to demonstrate her competence as a stylist and a storyteller with a new title every year or two, including the novels Deep Sorrow and A Lone Room . With the publication of the historical novel Yi Jin and more recently, Take Good Care of Mom , Shin has once again achieved the acclaim and success of her earlier work. Shin Kyung-sook was born in January 1963 in Jeongeup, Jeollabukdo (province). She was the fourth child and...
Hwang Tong-gyu: Poet on the Road to Discovery
Born in April 1938, Hwang Tong-gyu made his debut as a poet in 1958 when he was a sophomore studying English Literature at Seoul National University. His debut poem, “A Joyful Letter,” which was written when the poet was eighteen, has since become a well-loved romantic poem in Korea. Hwang has so far penned 14 volumes of poems, all of which have been well received by his readership. This is a testament to his tireless strive for change and progress in his works. Borrowing his words, he has been fiercely committed to a life of multifarious creativity, challenging tradition, challenging...
Hwang Sok-yong: Healing the Wounds of History, One Book at a Time
One might say that the life and works of Hwang Sok-yong are in and of themselves a modern history of Korea. The lives embodied in his works go beyond being unique experiences of individuals, to being concrete examples of Korean history. The reality revealed in his works is a painful memory of the people Korea literally wanted to overlook. With a cool but penetrating gaze, Hwang exposes wounds that most people want to turn away from and ignore. His gaze casts a heavy anchor in the hearts of readers trying to forget. What he says is that the atmosphere and...
Yi Chong-Jun: Looking Into the Heart of History
1 This Paradise of Yours published by Actes Sud, 1993 2 The Wounded published by Jimoondang Publishing Company, 2002 3 Io Island published by Actes Sud, 1991 The novels and stories of Yi Chong-Jun (available for years to French readers in translation through the translations of Patrick Maurus, published by Actes Sud) constitute a substantial and often disturbing body of work. Readers who have read the works of other Korean novelists available through many different French publishers (such as Actes Sud or Zulma) will find his work powerfully original. Each reader can uncover, with more or less insight depending on...

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