Wow – this all happened very quickly.
On 17 June author Lee Eung-jun wrote an article in Huffington Post Korea (in Korean) accusing Shin Kyung-sook of plagiarism:
Shin is “an author whose works are often accused of plagiarism” and that he decided to risk his career by publishing the article as he wanted the allegations to be made logically and officially rather than roam around on the Internet as rumors. (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Specifically, Lee claimed that Shin
lifted a passage from “Patriotism” by the late Japanese writer Mishima Yukio, translated into Korean by poet Kim Hu-ran in 1983, in her 1996 work “Legend.”
Lee, juxtaposing the parts from the two works, claimed that they bear striking similarities that can’t be explained as anything else but an act of plagiarism. (Korea Herald)
According to the Korea Times,
This was not the first time for Shin to get embroiled in a plagiarism scandal.
Shin’s short story collection “The Strawberry Field” and novel “The Train Departs at 7” were also the subject of plagiarism allegations in around 2000, but Shin denied those accusations.
A week later, the BBC reports:
After an initial denial, Ms Shin has now admitted “it was right to raise” the issue…
“I desperately tried to recall my memory only to find that I haven’t read Patriotism, but now I’m in a situation where even I can’t believe my own memory.”
Ms Shin said she would talk to her publisher about removing Legend from the book of short stories and take time for self-reflection.
She made her comments in an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun. According to the New York Times:
Ms. Shin left no doubt that she would continue to write, according to the newspaper. “If I stop writing, I am as good as dead,” it quoted her as saying.