Father and Son focuses on the age-old struggle between the generations within the context of modern industrialization and the battle for democratic freedoms in Korea. In this novel, Chu-ch’ol, a successful poet-publisher, is tormented by his son’s antigovernment activities and lack of filial respect, by the cynical questioning of a cousin-turned-government agent, and, not least, by his own guilty conscience. Through Chu-ch’ol and his extended family, the author explores the role of the intellectual in modern Korean society and the changing face of the Korean family as tradition gives way to economic growth and social upheaval.
Han Sung-won is a prolific writer with more than two dozen novels and a steady stream of short story collections and essays. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the 1980 Literature Prize of the Korean Writers Association, the 1982 Literature Prize of the Republic of Korea, the 1983 Literature Prize for Korean Writers, the 1987 Modern Literature Award, and the 1988 Yi Sang Literary Award. In his writing, Han examines the lives of individuals and families straddling the divide between tradition and modernity, between political freedom and capitulation, and between rural and urban life.