The stories in this collection are written by twelve Korean women writers whose experience, insight, and writing skill make them truly representative of Korean fiction at its best. “The Rooster” is a comical revelation of an old man who accepts the truth that Man and Nature revolve around the same immutable natural law. In “The Fragment,” refugees who flee to Pusan during the Korean War suffer the unspeakable squalor and despair when jammed in a warehouse. “The Young Elm Tree” tells the story of a high school girl who falls in love with the son of her mother’s new husband. What all these twelve writers share in common is a keen eye that penetrates into the lives of Korean women from the early part of the 20th century to the present.
THE AUTHORS Authors included fall into two groups-those born during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945) and those born after 1945. All the eight authors in the first group experienced the Second World War in childhood and the Korean War as adults. They saw pain, hardship, and death, but they observed courage, resilience, humor, and love even in the most dire times. The four younger writers are active creators of works that have won top literary awards. Their fresh new look at life, their bold experimental style, and their refreshing voices are a reflection of their generation.
THE TRANSLATOR Dr. Jin-Young Choi is Professor of English at Chung-Ang University in Seoul. She has translated two novels, numerous short stories and tales. Her Saturday columns in The Korea Herald were collected into one volume form One Woman’s Way. All of her translated short stories were published in Korean Literature Today.
The following stories are included in the collection:
Choe Cheong-hui: The Rooster
Eun Hee-kyung: My Wife’s Boxes
Gong Ji-young: The Unbearable Sadness of Being
Hahn Moo-Sook: The Fragment
Han Kang: Nostalgic Journey
Kang Shin-jae: The Young Elm Tree
Lee Jungho: The Woman in Search of an Illusion
Park Kyong-ni: Young-ju and the Cat
Park Wan-suh: The Dreaming Incubator
Song Won-hui: Division
Yi Seok-pong: The Jade Ring
Yoon Jungsun: At the Sundown