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The Valley Nearby

Translated by:
Publisher: , 1997
Original title: 가까운 골짜기, 1989
Link to online store *

Written by one of South Korea’s most popular authors, “The Valley Nearby”is a beautiful tale of a woman attempting to reconcile cultural tradition with her need for individuality and freedom. Living in the isolation of the country, Yun-hee is engaged in a solitary struggle. Her two worlds, that of a rural housewife and that of an advocate for equality, are at odds with each other. Although she reveres a mother who calls her husband “Master,” Yun-hee still hopes that one day things might be different for her daughter.

LKL says:

If nothing much happens in the book, it does not really matter. You can immerse yourself in the characters’ lives, enjoying their struggles with their art and their neighbours as the seasons turn. Kang Sok-Kyong herself was a painter before she became a writer, and her artistic sensibilities show through in this work.

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

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* 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.