From Publishers Weekly
The seven works here, whose three authors make their U.S. debut, are interesting primarily for their illumination of contemporary South Korean mores. In Kim Chi-won's "A Certain Beginning," a Korean who moves to New York after her affluent husband divorces her enters into a contract marriage with a young Korean student who needs a green card to stay in America; their tentative encounters reveal not only their individual psychologies but Korean attitudes toward love and matrimony. In the title piece, by O Chong-hui, a woman takes her daughter and young grandson on a day trip to a cemetery to view the plots she has selected; in a parallel narrative, the ghostly presence of the daughter's fugitive husband supplies an unexpected tension. While Kim Chi-won and O Chong-hui both depict intense loneliness and pent-up emotions, Kang Sok-kyong's novella "A Room in the Woods," less compelling than the other entries, relies on external events to build drama; she chronicles a well-to-do Seoul family whose experiences do not seem particular to their culture--one daughter is on the verge of marrying while another drops out of college.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Text: English, Korean (translation)