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Years and Years

Translated by:
Publisher: , expected Jun 2024
Original title: 연년세세, 2020
Link to online store *

Three women—the old mother and her two daughters—contemplate their family life and their bottled-up feelings through the novel’s placating yet oddly unnerving prose.

Years and Years is divided into four large chapters; the first unravels from the perspective of Sejin, younger daughter, the second from that of Youngjin, older daughter, the third from the mother’s, and the fourth, back to Sejin’s. Throughout the course of the novel, a number of themes are developed, including its discussion of interracial marriage, different forms of family, and sexual minorities. Circumstances and history forced the mother to the life of obedience, familial obligations and financial hardship forced Youngjin to give up her dream and support the family, and the reality of her culture forced Sejin to be in the closet. And all the while, these three women, while empathizing with each other, seem entrapped in the cycle of forcing each other to further succumb.

Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong

About the Author:

Born in 1976, Hwang Jungeun is one of the bright young things of Korean literature, having published two collections of short stories and three novels to date. One Hundred Shadows (2010), her first novel, was both a critical and commercial success; its mix of oblique fantasy, hard-edge social critique, and offbeat romance garnered the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award and the Korean Booksellers’ Award.

About the Translator:

Janet Hong is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. She received the 2018 TA First Translation Prize and the 2018 LTI Korea Translation Award for her translation of Han Yujoo’s The Impossible Fairy Tale. She’s a two-time winner of the Harvey Award for Best International Book for her translations of Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass and Yeong-shin Ma’s Moms. Other recent translations include Ha Seong-nan’s Bluebeard’s First Wife (selected as Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2020) and Kwon Yeo-sun’s Lemon. She is currently the Korean prose mentor for ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program.

Source: publisher’s website

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