Translated by: Chun Kyung-ja
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe, Routledge, 2018.
Link to online store *
An anthology of ten short stories by one of Korea’s foremost living writers. Pak Wanso is the author of five novels, including The Naked Tree, and of several best-selling volumes of short prose. Her works have sold millions of copies in Korea, where the public and critics alike have applauded Pak as a masterful realist.
The literary world of Pak depicts the trials of the Korean War and the subsequent three decades of upheaval during which Korea was transformed from a military dictatorship and an agriculturally based society to an urban industrialized, albeit troubled, democracy. Pak offers a searching woman’s perspective on radical changes in Korean family structures and social values, exposing the cruelty and hypocrisy of Korea’s Confucian traditions, which have subjugated women for centuries. Her realistic prose also portrays the dehumanizing impacts of the capitalist market order that characterizes Korea today.
With rich insight, Pak presents moral ambiguities inherent in Korea’s society today and encourages her readers to question the injustices that prevail in the more impersonal and often alienated world emerging in a “globalized” Korea.
Originally published by ME Sharpe, now part of Routledge. Contains the following stories:
A Certain Barbarity
Butterfly of Illusion
Encounter at the Airport
Farewell at Kimpo Airport
Granny Flowers in Those Heartless Days
Mr. Hong’s Medals
My Very Last Possession
She Knows, I Know, and Heaven Knows
Three Days in That Autumn
Thus Ended My Days of Watching Over the House
Entry on Goodreads.com here.
* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or Bookshop.org 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 Bookshop.org 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.