[Short Fiction Series 23]
Hwang Soon-won is modern Korea’s most successful short-story writer and perhaps its most consistently interesting fictional voice. His command of language, the timeless quality of his storytelling, his variety of narrative techniques, his vivid artistic imagination, and his insights into characters of both genders and of all ages and classes make him a complete writer and one who is impossible to categorize.
The three stories included here combine the universal with the local. “The Dog of Crossover Village” portrays life in a traditional rural village but can be read as an allegory of the Japanese colonial occupation or of the fate of an outsider in a highly stratified society. “A Man” offers wry commentary on gender relations by sketching a fellow who is hapless in his dealings with women. “Bibari” describes families separated by both physical and ideological distance during the Korean War, and offers glimpses of life on Jeju, the volcanic island to the south of the Korean peninsula.