Author: Chae Man-sik, Ha Seongnan, Kim Jung-hyuk, Kim Wonil, Kim Young-ha, Oh Jung-hee, Park Wan-suh, Pyun Hye-young, Yi Hyo-seok
Translated by: Cindy Chen, Dafna Zur, Janet Hong, Joel Stevenson, Kang Young-ji, Kevin O'Rourke, Michael Finch, Miseli Jeon, Teresa Kim
Publisher: Koryo Press, 2011.
Link to online store *
The short story has been the genre of choice for writers of literary fiction in modern Korea and it continues to thrive in the new millennium. Waxen Wings: The Acta Koreana Anthology of Short Fiction from Korea offers a diverse sampling from a century of modern Korean short fiction, beginning with stories from two early masters (Yi Hyosŏk and Ch’ae Manshik) and ending with works by four of the most imaginative contemporary writers (Kim Yŏngha, Ha Sŏngnan, P’yŏn Hyeyŏng, and Kim Chunghyŏk). In between are the two writers who are primarily responsible for the visibility enjoyed by Korean women fiction writers today (O Chŏnghŭi and Pak Wansŏ), and a writer, Kim Wŏnil, who has made it his lifework to address the territorial and spiritual division of the Korean peninsula. The title of the anthology, from Ha Sŏngnan’s 1999 story, suggests the transcendental qualities of the finest Korean short fiction.
LKL adds: here’s the complete list of stories in the collection:
Yi Hyo-seok: In the Mountains (1936) tr Kang Young-ji
Ch’ae Man-Sik: Constable Maeng (1946) tr Joel Stevenson
Oh Jung-Hee: Weaver Woman (1970) tr Miseli Jeon
Park Wan-suh: We teach shame! (1974) tr Teresa Kim
Kim Won-il: Prison of the Heart (1990) tr Michael Finch
Kim Young-ha: The Pager (1996) tr Dafna Zur
Ha Seong-nan: Waxen Wings (1999) tr Janet Hong
Pyun Hye-young : Corpses (2004) tr Cindy Chen
Kim Jung-hyuk: The Glass Shield (2006) tr Kevin O’Rourke
A solid selection of short stories.
* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site (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 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.