A classic work of Korean fiction following the tense dynamics of the Jo family in 1930s Japanese-occupied Seoul. Skillfully describing traditional Korean family structure, and vividly portraying the effects of Japanese rule, Three Generations presents a fierce battle between modern and traditional elements, as well as a chilling portrayal of the ruthlessness with which a colonial power imposed its will upon those under its control. Midwest Book Review One of the most important masterpieces of Korean fiction. —Kyoto Journal
Vividly capturing the cultural, moral, and political complexities of the Japanese colonial period through the urban microcosms of bars, stores, noodle shops, streets crowded with trolleys and rickshaws, and centuries-old mansions. —Bookforum
The novel, filled with gossip and family intrigue as scandalous as any contemporary soap opera, reads deliciously like a Dostoevsky novel or Les Liaisons Dangereuses meets Korea’s traditional middle class. —KoreAm
With its complex plot and huge cast of characters, Three Generations evokes not only Korean culture at a critical juncture in its history, but the strength and pleasures of its literature. —Moorish Girl
While valuable to its originating nation as a document of the political and social times, the real meat of this novel is the timeless conflict and confluence among strong personalities born into differing social strata. When rendered with understanding and humor, as this is, it makes for a ripping read. —Bookslut
About the Author
Yom Sang-seop was born in 1897 in Seoul. In 1919, he participated in an independence movement against the Japanese,for which he was jailed. He published his first stories, Hakjigwang and Samgwang in the same year. In 1953, he received the Seoul Culture Award. He was also awarded the Asia Freedom Literature Award in 1956, as well as the National Academy ofArts’ Contribution Award in 1957. In 1962, he received the March 1st Culture Award and the Korean President’s Medal. He died in 1963.
Yu Young-nan’s translations include Pak Wan-so’s The Naked Tree (Cornell East Asia Series, 1995), Yi In-hwa’s Everlasting Empire (EastBridge, 2001), Yi Mu-young’s Farmers (Homa & Sekey, 2002), and HanSung-won’s Father and Son, co-translated by Julie Pickering (Homa & Sekey, 2002). She was awarded the prestigious Daesan Literature Award in 2002 for Everlasting Empire, and Father and Sonwas named a Kiriyama Pacific Rim Notable Book. Kim Chie-sou is a literary critic and a professor of French and Korean literature at Ewha Womans University. He received a doctorate from Université de Provence. His works include Space of Korean Fiction and Truth of Fiction.