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The Underground Village

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2018
Link to online store *

Kang Kyeong-ae (1906-1944) was a Korean writer whose stories are remarkable for their rejection of colonialism, patriarchy, and ethnic nationalism during a period when such views were truly radical and dangerous. Born in what is now North Korea, Kang wrote all her fiction in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation and witnessed the violence and daily struggles experienced by ethnic Koreans living in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Kang’s riveting stories are full of sensitivity, defiance, and a deep understanding of the oppressed people she wrote about.

This collection, beautifully translated by Anton Hur, contains all the Korean-language short stories by Kang Kyeong-ae. Sang-kyung Lee’s excellent introduction provides deep insight into Kang’s achievements and the social and historical contexts in which she wrote.

LKL adds: the stories in this collection are as follows:

Break the Strings (1931)
The Authoress (1932)
Father and Son (1933)
Real and Unreal (1933)
The Tournament (1933)
Tuition (1933)
Vegetable Patch (1933)
Salt (1934)
Sympathy (1934)
Anguish (1935)
Manuscript Money (1935)
Mother and Son (1935)
The Firing (1935)
The Underground Village (1936)
Darkness (1937)
Opium (1937)
Blackie (1938)
The Man on the Mountain (1938)

Review in Cha Journal Blog

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.