Tilted Axis Press is launching its first Korean title on 20 October at the London Review Bookshop. Hwang Jungeun will be present to discuss her work. Tickets via Eventbrite. You can buy a copy of the book before then via the Tilted Axis Press website.
Hwang Jungeun: One Hundred Shadows
London Review Bookshop | 14 Bury Place | London WC1A 2JL
Thursday, 20 October 2016, 19:00 – 21:00 (BST)
£10 Book tickets
Hwang Jungeun will be in conversation about her oblique, hard-edged novel tinged with offbeat fantasy. Set in an electronics market in central Seoul – a poor area earmarked for demolition – this shape-shifting tale follows the awkward, tentative relationship between two young people caught up in the rapid gentrification of the city and a strange recent development: the shadows of the slum’s inhabitants have started to ‘rise.’
“There is an unforgettable, curious beauty to be found here, in this short book. The novel has elements of fantasy, but it is also at the same time extremely controlled, and realistic in its depiction of its world.” Han Kang, author of The Vegetarian
About One Hundred Shadows
An oblique, hard-edged novel tinged with offbeat fantasy, One Hundred Shadows is set in a slum electronics market in central Seoul – an area earmarked for demolition in a city better known for its shiny skyscrapers and slick pop videos. Here, the awkward, tentative relationship between Eun-gyo and Mujae, who both dropped out of formal education to work as repair-shop assistants, is made yet more uncertain by their economic circumstances, while their matter-of-fact discussion of a strange recent development – the shadows of the slum’s inhabitants have started to ‘rise’ – leaves the reader to make up their own mind as to the nature of this shape-shifting tale.
Hwang’s spare prose is illuminated by arresting images, quirky dialogue and moments of great lyricism, crafting a deeply affecting novel of perfectly calibrated emotional restraint. Known for her interest in social minorities, Hwang eschews the dreary realism usually employed for such issues, without her social criticism being any less keen. As well as an important contribution to contemporary working-class literature, One Hundred Shadows depicts the little-known underside of a society which can be viciously superficial, complicating the shiny, ultra-modern face which South Korea presents to the world.