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Holiday Home (K-Fiction 028)

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2020
Original title: 홀리데이 홈
Link to online store *

As this is an Asia Publishers title, it’s pretty difficult to obtain outside of Korea.

Text from the listing on the Kyobo website, fed through the Papago translation engine:

Pyeon Hye-young’s short novel captures the touch of a catastrophe.

It is the 28th K-fiction film. A Korean-English version of “Holiday Home” by Pyun Hye-young, a novelist who persistently portrays the anxiety and fear of the absurd world. The English translation was done by Kim So-ra, a translator who translated “Hall,” a representative work of Pyeon Hye-young and an award-winning work of Shirley Jackson.

“Holiday Home” depicts the life after Lee Jin-soo, a soldier, was discharged from the military after taking responsibility alone for his involvement in the manipulation of supply unit prices in the military. Since then, evidence has been captured by his wife, Jang So-ryeong, that the stage of life has changed for Lee Jin-soo, who runs a meat restaurant, but the way he lives has not changed.

Park Min-woo, who came to see the house he put out in real estate, remembers Lee Jin-soo and says drunk words amplify anxiety as if something would happen. Something must have happened between them when they were in the army, but the scene is not clearly portrayed.

Literary critic In Ah-young says, “It doesn’t matter exactly what happened to Lee Jin-soo and what he did,” adding, “The important thing is that the novel is in a solid form, regardless of what happened to Lee Jin-soo, that is, the specific details of what he did are empty.”

This absurd world makes humans serve in forms, not content. Also, there is no dilemma for Lee Jin-soo, who has learned his life perfectly in the military where the world is concentrated and considers “authority and hierarchy” only a compliment. The dilemma can only be sensed from the perspective of his wife, Jang Si-ryeong. The horror of watching the process from the side, which leads to such a catastrophe, will also be conveyed to readers of the work that he also has a face that is not much different from that.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.