Author: Young-ha Kim
272 pages | 210*145mm
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|>>>This book is written in Korean.|
About This Book
Novelist Kim Young-ha returns after six years with his new book "No One Knows What Happened."
Novelist Kim Young-ha who is widely known in other countries for translations of his works in various languages has returned with a new book for the first time in six years.
Crossing the boundaries of various genres of narratives to capture modern life in his stylish writing, Kim describes the pieces of our lives mixed with ambiguity, instability and confusion in "No One Knows What Happened."
The book consists of 13 short stories revolving around bizarre characters from diverse backgrounds under dark, bleak and heavy themes but in an intriguing style.
Most of the stories here are tinged with a sense of loss that happens to anyone living in today¡¯s society.
"Travel" is the representative story in this book, epitomizing the author¡¯s recent interests. Han-seon broke up with his girlfriend when he went to the United States to study. But he finds out that his ex-girlfriend will marry another man through Facebook and Google. He offers to take one last trip together before her marriage. But when she is reluctant, he kidnaps her, taking her to the east coast where he gets attacked by someone. In the story, the male protagonist ends up with irrational madness and an obsession with his ex-girlfriend and is trapped in the past via the social networks that continuously connect the present to the past.
The trend-savvy author who actually uses Twitter to communicate with his readers and share ideas with others, catches a new mode of modern sensitivity in his work.
The stories "Robot" and "Alligator" include sci-fi elements that mix up reality with fantasy. In "Robot," a heroine has a meaningless affair with her boss. One day, a man appears and asks her to go out with him. On the first date, he confesses he is actually a robot. The female protagonist who suffers hardships in her family finds some comfort with the robot.
In "Alligator," a boy gets a gifted voice after he experiences a change in his voice during adolescence. With the voice of "heaven," he becomes a famous singer. But he always worries he might lose his beautiful voice because he thought he didn¡¯t do anything to earn such a gift. One day, he goes to a live bar with a male singer performing and is captivated by his voice. But all of a sudden, an alligator appears among the crowd. After that, he loses his voice and can never sing again. In the meantime, an alligator is found dead with its mouth open in an apartment complex where he used to live. The dead alligator is sent to the zoo and since then, a beautiful song resonates every night.
"Quiz Show" is about a girl who is the only survivor in a heinous crime that resulted in the death of her mother and other family members. She is a victim of the crime but also inherited an enormous amount of family fortune. She suffers mental trauma when she goes out while living alone in a big house and at the same time, she gradually grows arrogant and thinks of her wealth as power. The rumors about her multiple personalities turn out true.
The situations portrayed in his stories seem to be hopeless and bleak and the characters experience difficulty in communicating with each other amid a growing flow of information. Seized by solitude, fear and anxiety, modern people are just drifting and wandering around in an the awkward atmosphere. The writer creates unusual situations but talks about our lives through unique incidents.
Born in 1968, Kim debuted with his first novel "I Have the Right to Destroy Myself," which won him the much-coveted Munhakdongne prize in 1995. Since then, he has built up his reputation and released more five novels and numerous short stories.
His works contain a modern context and globalized culture in his unique literary style.
Kim is also renowned for the historical novel "Black Flower" that revolves around the story of the first generation of the Korean Diaspora working in a Mexican plantation and later involved in a Pancho Villa-led military revolt. Also, he has shown stylish writing in "The Empire of Light," which deals with human identity in capitalistic society through a North Korean spy and his family after defecting to Seoul.
His novels and stories have been translated into more than 10 languages. Kim is now recognized as the representative writer in Korea in the post-industrialization era.
A French translation of his first novel, which was published by Philippe Picquier in February 1998, earned him international recognition.
"The Empire of Light" was released in France in 2009 and received rave reviews from major newspapers as Le Monde and Liberation. It will also be published in the United States next month.
His works have been adapted into film and musical versions. Kim worked for the Drama School at Korean National University of Arts and hosted a book-themed radio program.
By Chung Ah-young
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