Author: Sun-ok GONG
300 pages | 210*145mm
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|>>>This book is written in Korean.|
About This Book
"They were most beautiful in their twentieth winter."
The most painful, sad beauty of youth at twenty. The most beautiful time of their lives. Set in the early 1980s, the novel portrays the life of Haegeum, the fourth daughter from an average family living in Gwangju. Not long after she enters high school, she and her friends find themselves caught in the midst of a demonstration in the Gwangju Democratization Movement. One of her friends, Gyeongae, is killed on the spot. The friends who survive her live on with heavy hearts. It is painful for them to accept the gift of youth in a city where so many youths have perished.
Haegeum begins a sweet relationship with a young man named Hwan, whom she met at her uncle's factory, but the relationship ends when Hwan, trapped in a hopeless family situation, mutilates himself. While "the poet" fills the empty space in Haegeum's life, Haegeum continues to wonder about her purpose in life. One day, "the poet" is dragged off to prison, and Seung-gyu, a comrade in the same cause as "the poet" and Jeongshin, commits suicide after being drafted by the army. The friends gather in Gwanghallu in remembrance of the deceased.
When they were at their most beautiful, the world wasn't very bright or beautiful. The young adults of this story grapple with the hollowness of being forced to grow up too soon. When they were at their most beautiful, they were very unhappy and profoundly lost. But like a flame that burns more brightly in the dark, the brilliant growth inspirited by the anguish of younger days will light the hearts of today's youth.
"A poignant depiction of youth at twenty and their endurance of many trials and tribulations. You'll laugh at Haegeum's cheeky wit and be touched by their struggles." Yonhap News
"A dedication to a time beautiful because it was sad, and sad because it was beautiful. Despite the topics of collective sorrow and personal growing pains, the tone remains bright and upbeat." Hankyoreh Daily
About the Author
Gong Sun-ok was born 1963 in Goksung, and made her literary debut with "Seed Fire" in The Quarterly Changbi in 1991. She is famous for her portrayals of the marginalized, especially women and their tenacious commitment to life, and maternity through a dynamic rhetoric. The recipient of the Women News Literature Prize, the Shin Dong Yeob Creative Prize, the Today's Young Writer Award, 2005 Artist of the Year (literature), and the Catholic Literature Prize, Gong has written the short story collections, Bloom! Daffodils, Merry Night Walk, and I Shall not Die; fulllength novels, Left My Thirties in Ojiri, Come to the Sorghum Field; and the essay collections, I Cried at Jaunyeong Flower Field and Happy Dinner.
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