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The Book of Masks

By Hwang Sun-won and Various and Martin Holman
The Book of Masks by Hwang Sun-won and Various and Martin Holman digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

The long life and career of Hwang Sun-won (1915-2000) spanned the whole trajectory of modern Korean history - Japanese domination, WWII, ideological strife, the Korean War and harsh division of the country, industrialization, military dictatorships and the protests against them. These events are reflected subtly in his stories, always emphasizing the resilience of the Korean people.


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About Hwang Sun-won

HWANG SUN-WON (1915-2000) was born in what is now North Korea before WWII, when the whole country was under heavy Japanese domination. Like other young Korean intellectuals, he was sent to Tokyo in the 1930s for higher education and literary pursuits, only returning North after War was declared. He had to hide his Korean writings during the later stages of the War until Japanese colonial power was ended in 1945. From the literary experimentation of the 1920s and 1930s by Korean writers in Tokyo, the short story developed as the premier literary for modern Korean writing, and from the 1930s onward Hwang Sun-won held his place as master of the form. His collection The Book of Masks, published when he was over sixty, marked a new departure and astonished the critics with its intensity and psychological depth, and these are the stories presented by Readers International to introduce this important writer to English-language readers in Europe, Canada and the USA.

Various

Bruce Fulton, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Korea, received his Masters degree in Korean Area Studies from the University of Washington and his doctorate in Modern Korean Literature at Seoul National University. He is the inaugural holder of the Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation in the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, and has had a prize-winning career as a translator of modern Korean literature. Ju-Chan Fulton, a graduate of Ehwa Women's University in Seoul, received her Masters in Special Education from the University of Washington, and married Bruce Fulton in 1979. Together the Fultons have translated many important works of Korean literature, including stories by Yun Heung-gil and Hwang Sun-won published by Readers International and a number of volumes of new Korean fiction and works by Korean women writers.Martin Holman, a graduate of Brigham Young University, received his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, and has had a varied career as an editor and translator from Korean and Japanese, as a teacher - most recently at the University of Missouri, and as Director of the Tokubei-za Traditional Japanese Puppet Theater in Tokushima, Japan. His translations include works from Korean published by Readers International by Yun Heung-gil as well as Hwang Sun-won, from Japanese by Ibuse Masuji and also by Nobel prize-winner Kawabata Yasunari (The Old Capital, Palm-of-the-Hand Stories, and The Dancing Girl of Izu). Suh Ji-moon was born in 1948 and grew up mostly in Seoul. She received her doctorate from the State University of New York at Albany. She has also studied and taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and at Harvard University, besides serving as a distinguished professor of English at Korea University in Seoul. Her many excellent translations from Korean include Yun Heung-gil's The Rainy Spell in this collection, the UNESCO Representative Collection of modern Korean stories, and stories by Hwang Sun-won published in the Readers International collection, The Book of Masks. She has also published a collection of her own essays in English entitled Faces in the Well and has translated poems of the Korean War (Brother Enemy, 2002). She also co-edited Remembering the "Forgotten War": the Korean War through Literature and Art (2000).Edward Poitras, a professor at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul, newspaper columnist, and long-time resident of Korea, has won the Korea Times Translation Prize for his work. His translations include The Stars and Other Korean Stories by Hwang Sun-won, as well as the poetry of Pak Tu-jin. Chang Wang-rok, a retired professor of English at Seoul National University, has translated a number of Korean works, including Hwang Sun-won's novel Trees on a Cliff and (with his daughter) Yi Chong-jun's novel This Paradise of Yours. He has also published a collection of his own short stories in English, Migrating Birds on the Charles River. Stephen Epstein received his bachelors degree from Harvard and took his Ph.D in Classics at the University of California at Berkeley. His literary interests range from Hellenistic and Augustan poetry to classical Chinese and modern Korean fiction. His translation of Yi Chong-jun's story "The Final Gift" appeared in Korea Journal.

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