Gong Ji young is one of the best known of the new wave of women writers who broke into the South Korean literary establishment in the 1980s and 1990s. Her earlier works chronicle the 1980s and the students who like the author herself came of age during that decade of violent protest and political upheaval in South Korea. But she has also written extensively about the lives of young educated women attempting to forge lives for themselves both within and without the family. Her protagonists, like those of “Dreams” and “Human Decency” are often single professional women attempting to find meaning in an increasingly materialistic society whose traditional patriarchal nature is slow to change. These individuals struggle as well to come to terms with generational changes that call into question the significance of their earlier activism in the student and labor movements.
Human Decency (인간에 대한 예의) (1993) and
Dreams (꿈) (1993)