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The Bird

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2007
Original title: , 2003
Link to online store *

After the death of their mother, U-mi and her little brother, U-il, are shuttled between relatives until their father retrieves them. He puts the children in the care of a young stepmother, fresh from a brothel, who looks after them during the week while he works at a remote building site.

But the stepmother is soon driven away by the father’s violent possessiveness. Depressed, the father no longer returns for his weekend visits, and the children are left to fend for themselves.

U-mi attempts to care for U-il, with help from neighbours, but her despair leads her to mimic her father’s behaviour, abusing the one person closest to her …

A beautifully written, deeply affecting story of a shattered childhood.

LKL says:

Another of those enigmatic, slightly depressing modern Korean novels which causes you to have sympathy with the large number of Koreans who are turning to Japanese novels for their entertainment.

LKL rating: score-2score-1score-0score-0score-0. Read our review of this book here.

Read a review by Tony Malone here. Entry on here.

* 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.