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Hwang Sok-yong

Hwang Sok-yong

Hwang Sok-yong (born January 4, 1943) is a South Korean novelist known as a longtime dissident against the South Korean government. His first novel The Chronicle of a Man Named Han, the story of a family separated by the Korean War, was published in 1970. The novel is still topical today after Kim Dae-jung’s visit to North Korea and meeting with Kim Jong-il led to reunion programes for separated families, and talk of reunification. The Chronicle of a Man Named Han was translated into French by Zulma in 2002.
Hwang Sok-yong published a collection of stories, The Road to Sampo in 1974, and became a household name with his epic, Chang Kil-san (also spelled Jan Gilsan), which was serialized in a daily newspaper over a period of ten years (1974–84). Using the parable of a bandit from olden times (“parables are the only way to foil the censors”) to describe the contemporary dictatorship, Chang Kil-san was a huge success in North as well as South Korea. It sold an estimated million copies, and remains a bestseller in Korea fiction today.
Hwang Sok-yong also wrote for the theatre, and several members of a company were killed while performing one of his plays during the 1980 Kwangju uprising. During this time Hwang Sok-yong went from being a politically committed writer revered by students and intellectuals, to participating directly in the struggle.

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