It’s thrilling to hear that South Korea is becoming a more prominent player on the global literary scene. As a fan of Japanese literature, this expanded acceptance of an Eastern written culture quite different from the West’s standards is heartening in today’s climate. Spotlighted at last year’s London Book Fair, what is even more inspiring is that it is the female writers from South Korea whose work is reaching the most Western readers.
As Lilit Marcus writes, the word ‘dark’ “gets thrown around a lot when describing books that have anything other than a happily ever after ending”. That darkness is never more present than in modern Korean writing (just like modern Japanese works: anyone else read Ryū Murakami’s In the Miso Soup?). These are unsettling subject matters (e.g. “teenage girl has sex with her father to make him feel better after mom goes to prison for hacking up a teenage boy”) and not for the easily nauseated. The film industry in both countries equally evidences such darkness […]
[First published at AmReading.com. Continue reading at:]