I Met Loh Kiwan - Modern Korean Fiction (Paperback)
  • I Met Loh Kiwan - Modern Korean Fiction (Paperback)
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I Met Loh Kiwan - Modern Korean Fiction (Paperback)

(author), (translator), (series editor)
£22.50
Paperback 136 Pages / Published: 30/08/2019
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This captivating short novel follows the journey of North Korean refugee Loh Kiwan to a place where he doesn't speak the language or understand the customs. Loh's story of hardship and determination is gradually revealed in flashbacks by the narrator, Kim, a writer for a South Korean TV show, who learned about Loh from a news report. She traces his progress from North Korea to Brussels to London as he struggles to make his way and find a home in an unfamiliar world.

Readers come to see that Kim, too, has embarked on a journey, one driven by her need to understand what drives people to live, even thrive, despite tremendous loss and despair. Her own conflicted feelings of personal and professional guilt are mirrored in the novel's other characters: Jae, Kim's romantic interest and producer of the TV show she once wrote for; Yunju, a young cancer victim whose illness she now regrets exploiting; Pak, a doctor who helped Loh in Brussels, yet suffers deep remorse over the many life and death decisions he has made for his patients. Author Cho Haejin weaves these characters into a story of hope and trust, one that asks basic questions about what it means to be human and humane.

First published in 2011 in South Korea, this timely and moving story won the 2013 Shin Dong-yup Prize for Literature.

Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
ISBN: 9780824880033
Number of pages: 136
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Cho Haejin's award-winning work tells us much more than the story of a North Korean refugee, the eponymous Loh Kiwan. A story about a story (a retelling of Loh's diary), I Met Loh Kiwan intertwines multiple lives in unexpected and unsettling ways. Set in Belgium, Cho's novella moves beyond ideological bifurcations and the Korean peninsula to offer a compelling meditation on human suffering, empathy, and desire. Expertly translated by Ji-Eun Lee, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the exciting world of contemporary Korean literature.--Theodore Hughes, Columbia University
In Loh Kiwan, Cho has created an idealized vision of the North Korean refugee around whom is organized a quest for truth and authenticity in human relations. Her work is both captivating and moving.--Janet Poole, University of Toronto

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