Translated by: Samuel Perry
Publisher: Feminist Press, 2009.
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A classic revolutionary novel of the 1930s and the first complete work written by a woman before the Korean War to be published in English, From Wonso Pond transforms the love triangle between three protagonists into a revealing portrait of the living conditions that led to modern Korea, both North and South. In a plot rich with Dickensian overtones, it paints a vivid picture of life in what is now North Korea through the eyes of three characters, as they journey separately from a small, impoverished village ruled by the lecherous landlord to the port city of Incheon.
A book of two halves, the second more interesting than the first. In the first half we have a simple story of country folk trying to survive in difficult times, while in the second we move to the city of Incheon and the world of communist activism among the factory workers. Although the storyline relies heavily on coincidence, it's an interesting read.
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