Author: Sok-yong Hwang
Hardcover | 302 pages | 210*145mm
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|>>>This book is written in Korean.|
About This Book
This masterpiece dynamically depicts the harsh reality of the 21st century and the search for a way to save it through Bari, the protagonist of a traditional Korean folk tale. In the folk tale, the original Bari, a young girl (princess), obtains the Water of Life after much travail to save her father (world). Her namesake in Hwang’s work lives in the 20th and 21st centuries and has the shamanic ability to know others’ previous lives and to freely travel between this and the next worlds. Born in North Korea, she flees from the country after loosing her family to the rampant poverty and famine of the late 1990’s. After escaping to China and smuggling herself on a ship, Bari finally reaches London as an illegal migrant worker. The heart of the old British Empire, London is a hotbed of racial, religious, and gender conflicts and, at the same time, a place where people withstand such conflicts through solidarity and love. Bari marries a Muslim and bears a child, only to have her husband go missing in action in the Iraq war. Moreover, her child dies of an accident. Unable to bear so much pain, Bari sets out beyond reality in search of the Water of Life to save not only herself but also all beings in this world suffering from sadness and pain. The author unravels a gripping epic narrative in which a frail and deserted girl from a peripheral corner of the world forgives and saves humanity and souls tainted with hatred and suffering. In the highlight of this work, he uses the form of traditional Korean shamans’ songs to resolve the grudge of countless souls who have crossed to the netherworld. Amidst global violence and conflict such as 9/11 (2001) and the July 7 terrorist attack on London (2005), Bari movingly sets out on a quest for true reconciliation that transcends nationality, religion, race, culture, and ideology. Contracts for the publication of French, German, English, and Japanese translations were signed even before the publication of the Korean original, which bespeaks the international attention on Hwang’s latest work.
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