The Guest (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Seven Stories Press, Jan 4, 2011 - Fiction - 168 pages
6 Reviews
Based on actual events, The Guest is a profound portrait of a divided people haunted by a painful past, and a generation's search for reconciliation.
During the Korean War, Hwanghae Province in North Korea was the setting of a gruesome fifty-two day massacre. In an act of collective amnesia the atrocities were attributed to American military, but in truth they resulted from malicious battling between Christian and Communist Koreans. Forty years later, Ryu Yosop, a minister living in America returns to his home village, where his older brother once played a notorious role in the bloodshed. Besieged by vivid memories and visited by the troubled spirits of the deceased, Yosop must face the survivors of the tragedy and lay his brother's soul to rest.
Faulkner-like in its intense interweaving narratives, The Guest is a daring and ambitious novel from a major figure in world literature.

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Review: The Guest

User Review  - C. Adam Volle - Goodreads

This is a textbook example of a bravely moral novel, even if it is occasionally dry or needlessly confusing. Here's an interesting set of blog posts about how the translators may lose some of the subtlety in Hwang's prose: Read full review

Review: The Guest

User Review  - Kelsi - Goodreads

Being all about war, killing and sad history, 'The Guest' is not something I usually reach for. I found the read rather trying at parts and also incredibly upsetting at others. However it was an eye ... Read full review


Authors Note
Keeper of the Netherworld
From One Generation to Another
Clarification before Reconciliation
God Too Has Sinned
The Fork in the Road

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Page 18 - A MIGHTY fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing ; Our helper he amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe, His craft and power are great, And, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.
Page 18 - Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing ; Were not the right man on our side, The man of God's own choosing. Dost ask who that may be ? Christ Jesus, it is he ; Lord Sabaoth is his name, From age to age the same, And he must win the battle.
Page 17 - For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!

About the author (2011)

Born in 1943, HWANG SOK-YONG is a Korean writer of world renown and the recipient of numerous international awards and honors. His work, which grapples with the troubled recent history of his divided country, has been the cause of his imprisonment, his exile, and finally that rare achievement of a wide readership and appreciation in both North and South Korea.

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