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Sibling Survival: A Forest That No One Has Seen by Cho Haejin

  • onOctober 27, 2014
  • Vol.22 Winter 2013
  • byYang Yun-eui
A Forest That No One Has Seen
2013
192pp.

A boy named Shin Hyun-su is declared dead because of his mother’s debts. When a large explosion occurs at a subway station in K city, the moneylenders try to get compensation by claiming that Hyun-su is one of the victims. Mi-su, who is seven years older than Hyun-su, is kept in the dark and saddened by the sudden death of her brother. Mi-su spends a lonely childhood and becomes a desk clerk at a building. She begins a relationship with Yun, a security guard, but it is not enough to make up for her loneliness.

Meanwhile, Hyun-su becomes a broker for forging documents. Having turned 18, he is almost an adult. But he cannot get employment since he is officially dead to society. Even so, he does not turn into a vengeful monster. He looks up his sister in her studio apartment and quietly watches over her. Hyun-su is engaged in an act of ultimate good will. This is when the reversal of roles begins. It is the abandoned brother who protects his sister. In the final scene, the siblings find each other at long last in the forest.

The forest is a place of good will. The siblings have discovered a secret storage for the abandoned and the left behind. They do all they can to look after each other. Their pure intentions are what help to keep the forest together. The author reminds us to think of the forest when our lives are threatened by the evil forces of the cruel world. 

Author's Profile

Cho Haejin (b.1976) debuted when she won the New Writer’s Awards and was published by the quarterly magazine Munye Joongang in 2006. She authored the short story collection City of Angels and the novels I Met Lo Kiwan and A Forest That No One Has Seen.