My Very Last Possession and Other Stories

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M.E. Sharpe, 1999 - Fiction - 220 pages
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This is an anthology of ten short stories by one of Korea's foremost living writers. Pak Wanso is the author of five novels, including The Naked Tree, and of several bestselling volumes of short prose. Her works have sold millions of copies in Korea, where the public and critics alike have applauded Pak as a masterful realist.

The literary world of Pak depicts the trials of the Korean War and the subsequent three decades of upheaval during which Korea was transformed from a military dictatorship and an agriculturally-based society to an urban industrialized, albeit troubled, democracy. Pak offers a searching woman's perspective on radical changes in Korean family structures and social values, exposing the cruelty and hypocrisy of Korea's Confucian traditions which have subjugated women for centuries. Her realistic prose also portrays the dehumanizing impacts of the capitalist market order that characterizes Korea today.

With rich insight, Pak presents moral ambiguities inherent in Korea's society today and encourages her readers to question the injustices that prevail in the more impersonal and often alienated world emerging in a globalized Korea. The stories are beautifully translated by Kyung-ja Chun (whose translation of Chae Man-Sik's Peace Under Heaven won the Korean Literature Translation grand prize in 1995).

  

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Contents

SHE KNOWS I KNOW AND HEAVEN KNOWS
3
BUTTERFLY OF ILLUSION
26
FAREWELL AT KIMPO AIRPORT
62
MR HONGS MEDALS
80
THUS ENDED MY DAYS OF WATCHING OVER THE HOUSE
97
A CERTAIN BARBARITY
111
GRANNY FLOWERS IN THOSE HEARTLESS DAYS
143
THREE DAYS IN THAT AUTUMN
156
MY VERY LAST POSSESSION
198
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About the author (1999)

Wanso is one of Korea's foremost living writers.

Chun won the Korean Literature Translation grand prize in 1995

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