Chae Man-sik: Peace Under Heaven

English Translation: ME Sharpe, 1993. Originally published in 1938 An entertaining comedy chronicling a day or so in the life of a lecherous, foul-mouthed nouveau riche landlord. It captures a snapshot of Seoul under Japanese colonial occupation, but the Japanese impinge very little on the narrative. The book has larger than life characters — the […]

Hwang Sok-yong: The Guest

(Seven Stories, 2005) Transalted by Chun Kyung-ja and Maya West Originally published as 손님, Seoul 2001 The Guest of the title is an unwelcome foreigner: originally applied to smallpox, it is used by extension to cover the cultural imports of communism and Christianity. The theme of the book is that until the ghosts of the […]