SWEET POTATO by Kim Tongin (trans. Grace Jung)

SWEET POTATO by Kim Tongin (trans. Grace Jung)

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Translated by Grace Jung and introduced by Youngmin Kwon

Kim Tongin (1900-1951) is one of Korea’s earliest and most respected modern writers whose naturalist fiction brilliantly depicts Korean life during a period of profound social change. Namesake of the prestigious Dong-in Literary Award, Kim Tongin’s succinct writing style can still inspire readers and provide insight into early 20th century Korea over 60 years after his death. Finally, a volume of Kim Tongin’s short stories, most of them previously untranslated, will be available to readers of English.

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This new collection is undoubtedly an significant addition to the body of work of Korean literature in English
— Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books
Sweet Potato is an excellent collection, with no weak pieces and several excellent stories [...] combining humour, pathos, frame narratives and a host of chatty narrators.
— Tony Malone, Tony's Reading List
A great intro to one of the best regarded writers from Korea [...] one of the first true modern writers from that country.
— Stu Allen, Winstonsdad's Blog

Translated by Grace Jung and introduced by Youngmin Kwon

Grace Jung is a writer, translator and filmmaker from New York. She is the author of Deli Ideology and producer of the feature documentary A-Town Boyz. She is currently a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Los Angeles, California. She is a former Fulbright scholar.

Youngmin Kwon  is a professor of Korean literature at Seoul National University and former dean of the College of Humanities. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written and edited numerous volumes of literary history, literary criticism and reference works on modern Korean literature, and is the current president of the International Association of Comparative Korean Studies.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • Note on the Translation
  1. The Life in One's Hands
  2. Boat Song: A Brother's Lament
  3. Flogging
  4. Barely Opened Its Eyes
  5. Sweet Potato
  6. Fire Sonata
  7. Like Father, Like Son
  8. Red Mountain
  9. Letter and Photograph
  10. Notes on Darkness and Loss
  11. The Mad Painter
  12. The Old Taet'angji Lady
  13. Mother Bear
  14. The Traitor
  • Note on the Illustration