Translated by: Horace Jeffery Hodges, Hwang Sun-ae
Publisher: Dalkey Archive, 2013.
Link to online store *
First published in 1990, this is a sensational and highly controversial novel by one of Korea’s most electrifying contemporary authors. A preposterous coming-of-age story, melding sex, death, and high school in a manner reminiscent of some perverse collision between Georges Bataille and Beverly Cleary, the narrator of this book plows through contemporaneous Korean mores with aplomb, bound for destruction, or maturity–whichever comes first.
Also contains the short story The Seventh Day.
While perhaps as a coming-of-age story this novel is not unique, its historical backdrop – not only in its sense of political betrayal but also for the vestiges of the 1980s collective approach of the student body (one character is pressured to work collaboratively with other students in publishing her poems) – together with the added frisson of all the casual sex make it a lively and interesting read.
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