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Showing results from Library of Korean Literature series

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  • Son of Man
    Son of Man (English, Paperback) Yi Yi

    One of the greatest living Korean writers here details the quest of a young seminary student seeking transcendence, running through many Western and East Asian theologies in the process. Deciding that Jesus was not truly "the son of man," the student sets out to create his own alternative to Christ, and winds up dead. Soon, the detective called in to solve the killing winds up with more than a...

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  • Pavane for a Dead Princess
    Pavane for a Dead Princess (English, Paperback) Min-gyu Park

    Park Min-gyu has been celebrated and condemned for his attacks upon what he perceives as the humorlessness of contemporary Korean literature. Pavane for a Dead Princess is his attack upon the beauty-fetish that reigns over popular culture, detailing the relationship between a man with matinee-idol good looks and "the ugliest woman of the century." To complicate matters further, Park also includes...

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  • Evening Proposal
    Evening Proposal (English, Paperback) Pyun Hye-Young

    Evening Proposal is a collection of eight stories about the grim and often faceless nature of urban life. Faintly reminiscent of Franz Kafka, the stories range from a man who discovers that his job performance has no significance while taking refuge in taking care of an abandoned rabbit to a man who finally expresses his love to discover that his expression frightened him more than his fear in...

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  • The Private Lives of Plants
    The Private Lives of Plants (English, Paperback) Lee C. Lee

    The Private Life of Plants is about the ways in which desire can both worsen and mitigate our flaws. We meet amputee sons whose mothers cart them from brothel to brothel; we meet brothers who love their brother's lovers, and whose lovers in turn are stolen away by the husbands of their sisters. Sexuality in all its ugliness and wonder is put under the microscope by Lee Seung-U, who reminds us that...

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  • Mannequin
    Mannequin (English, Paperback) Ch'oe Yun

    Ch'oe Yun's Mannequin is a novel that reflects on the meaning of beauty and its many facets of existence. The beauty of the main character, Jini, is captured through a carefree imagination that describes it as ?the music of the wind,? or something that can't be described in words. Through the beauty that penetrates and captivates us in fleeting moments, the novel leads us to critically reflect on...

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  • A Most Ambiguous Sunday and Other Stories
    A Most Ambiguous Sunday and Other Stories (English, Hardback) Jung Young-moon

    Considered an eccentric in the traditional Korean literary world and often compared to Kafka, Jung Young-moon’s short stories have nonetheless won numerous readers both in Korea and abroad.

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  • Scenes from the Enlightenment: A Novel of Manners
    Scenes from the Enlightenment: A Novel of Manners (English, Paperback) Namcheon Kim

    Scenes from the Enlightenment: A Novel of Manners was published in 1939, toward the end of the Japanese colonial period in Korea, and depicts seemingly trivial events in the lives of the residents of a small town northeast of Pyongyang: a wedding between two local families, the arrival of box upon box of fascinating new Western products at the Japanese-run general store, a long-awaited athletics...

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  • The Library of Musical Instruments
    The Library of Musical Instruments (English, Paperback) Kim Jung-Hyuk

    The second short-story collection by Kim Jung-hyuk, the author of Penguin News, features a total of eight short stories, including ?Syncopation D? which won the 2nd Kim You-jeong Literary Award in 2008. They represent the many sounds sampled by the author when he recorded over 600 kinds of musical instruments. Like instruments coming together in a symphony, the stories combine to make an opus...

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  • Rina
    Rina (English, Paperback) Kang Kang

    Rina is a defector from a country that might be North Korea, traversing an "empty and futile" landscape. Along the way, she is forced to work at a chemical plant, murders a few people, becomes a prostitute, runs a lucrative bar, and finds a solace in a motley family of wanderers all as disenfranchised as she. Brutal and unflinching, with elements of the mythic and grotesque interspersed with...

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  • Beauty Looks Down on Me
    Beauty Looks Down on Me (English, Paperback) Eun Heekyung

    Beauty Despises Me is a collection of by turns sad and funny stories about the thwarted expectations of the young as they grow older. HeeKyung's characters are misfits who by virtue of their bodies or their lack of social status are left to dream of momentous changes that will never come. Unsatisfied with work, with family, with friends, they lose themselves in diets, books, and blogs. Heekyung's...

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  • The Amusing Life
    The Amusing Life (English, Paperback) Sok-Che Song

    The Amusing Life is a collection of over forty stories, sketches, vignettes and fables that search out the comical, even the absurd, aspects of everyday life. Along the way, the conventions and mores of work, art, nation, love and family are examined and made newly strange. Two rival countries race to raise the tallest flag. A poet receives a grant letter that's made to self-destruct. A world...

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  • Turbid Rivers
    Turbid Rivers (English, Paperback) Man-Sik Ch'ae

    Turbid River was written just before Ch'ae Man-Sik was arrested in 1938 by the Japanese colonial government. Like the two novels that followed (Peace Under Heaven andFrozen Fish), Turbid River is a realistic portrayal of life in Korea under Japanese colonization. The tragic story of a woman's life, the novel is also a penetrating look into the objectification of women.

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  • Score One for the Dancing Girl, and Other Selections from the Kimun ch'onghwa
    Score One for the Dancing Girl, and Other Selections from the Kimun ch'onghwa (English, Hardback) Ross King

    Score One for the Dancing Girl presents more than a hundred stories from an early-nineteenth-century collection of yadam stories, the Kimun ch'onghwa ("Compendium of Records of Hearsay").

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  • God Has No Grandchildren
    God Has No Grandchildren (English, Paperback) Kimoon Kim

    The nine stories that make up this collection depict a wide variety of contemporary Koreans navigating a world focused on material wealth and social power, in which family ties have been disrupted and all relationships are dysfunctional. Unpredictable and enigmatic, these tales, though taking place in what would appear to be a shallow, materialistic environment, are nonetheless woven through with...

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  • A Good Family
    A Good Family (English, Paperback) Seo Seo

    This collection of eight stories--cynical and sympathetic by turns--represents the author's attempt to document and understand the conflicts, resentments, hatreds, and anxieties of contemporary family life. The title story depicts a mother's busy day playing numerous roles--ashamed, fearless, or humble--depending on which member of her family she's tending to. In "The Privacy of My...

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  • Another Man's City
    Another Man's City (English, Paperback) Choi In-Ho

    Another Man's City is structured as a virtual-reality narrative manipulated by an entity referred to variously as the Invisible Hand or Big Brother. The scenario is reminiscent of Peter Weir's 1998 filmThe Truman Show and Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Unconsoled. The novel begins with a series of seemingly minor juxtapositions of the familiar and the strange, as a result of which the protagonist, K,...

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  • Stingray
    Stingray (English, Paperback) Kim Joo

    Hailed by critics, Stingray has been described by its author as “a critical biography of my loving mother.”

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  • When Adam Opens His Eyes
    When Adam Opens His Eyes (English, Paperback) Jung Jung, Sun-ae Hwang

    First published in 1990, this is a sensational and highly controversial novel by one of Korea's most electrifying contemporary authors, which plows through contemporaneous Korean mores with aplomb.

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  • House with a Sunken Courtyard
    House with a Sunken Courtyard (English, Paperback) Kim Won, Ji-moon Suh

    An occasionallyterrifying and always vivid portrayal of what it was like to live as a refugeeimmediately after the end of the Korean War.

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  • At Least We Can Apologize
    At Least We Can Apologize (English, Paperback) Lee Ki

    A kaleidoscope of minornuisances and major grievances, this novel heralds a new comic voice in Koreanletters.

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