[Short Fiction Series 2]
The dwarf is the head of a family living in an impoverished neighborhood in the outskirts of Seoul, ironically named Happiness District, Paradise County. When the neighborhood goes into redevelopment, the dwarf's home―the foundation of his family's life―is demolished. What ensues is a tragic tale of economic disempowerment and the resulting loss of human dignity. Through the eyes of the dwarf's three children as they struggle desperately to restore the shattered fragments of their lives, Cho Se-hui sketches the seedy underbelly of a society in the violent throes of industrialization.
When it was first published in 1978, A Dwarf Launches a Little Ball was passionately embraced by the public. Through the enduring figure of the dwarf, it managed to give shape to the prevailing sense of individual despair in a climate of political oppression and acute economic contradictions. More than two decades later, it remains one of the most powerful indictments of modern society to emerge from Korean literature.