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Contemporary Korean Literature

Contemporary Korean Literature


Regular price £34.00 GBP
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Contemporary Korean literature has wowed readers in recent years and this bundle collects three unique works which illustrate both the breadth of subject and approach in Korean lit but also the shared qualities that help define it - caustic wit, deeply-felt humanity and a refreshingly blasé approach to genre.

Esther Yi's Y/N is an intense tale of obsession about a narrator's unexpected K-pop fandom leading her down a dangerous path of self destruction. Intoxicating on a sentence-by-sentence basis, Esther Yi's writing combines the lavish poetry of Nabokov with the blunt, self-deprecating wit of Sayaka Murata. Y/N also contains a parallel narrative of the narrator's haunting and bizarre self-insert fan fiction (Y/N standing for 'your name', as in - your name goes here) which mirrors and comments on the action of the main storyline.

Recently nominated for the International Booker Prize, Cheon Myeong-Kwan's Whale is a picaresque tale spanning generations in rural Korea in the first half of the 20th Century. Elements of magical realism flourish in the margins of a story that speaks to the slow industrialisation of rural areas, the cruelty of poverty, and the necessity of self-determination. Mordantly funny and deeply moving, Whale combines the sprawl of Dickens with the verve of Vonnegut.

Published in 2007 and already considered a modern classic, Han Kang's The Vegetarian is a bruising, brutal and beautifully told story of the unexpected calamities that befall Yeong-hye after she takes the decision to stop eating meat, offending the traditional values of her family and setting her on a violent path of self-discovery.

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