Seoul. On the outskirts of South Korea's glittering metropolis is a place few people know about: a vast landfill site called Flower Island. Home to those driven from the city by poverty, is it here that 14-year-old Bugeye and his mother arrive, following his father's internment in a government `re-education camp'.
Living in a shack and supporting himself by weeding recyclables out of the refuse, at first Bugeye's life on Flower Island is hard. But then one night he notices mysterious lights around the landfill. And when the ancient spirits that still inhabit the island's landscape reveal themselves to him, Bugeye's luck begins to change - but can it last?
Vibrant and enchanting, Familiar Things depicts a society on the edge of dizzying economic and social change, and is a haunting reminder to us all to be careful of what we throw away.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 129 x 198 x 15mm | 229g
- 08 Jun 2017
- Scribe Publications
- Carlton North, Australia
Political prisoner Hyun Woo is freed after eighteen years to find no trace of the world he knew. The friends with whom he shared utopianist dreams are gone. His Seoul is unrecognizably transformed and aggressively modernized. Yoon Hee, the woman he loved, died three years ago. A broken man, he drifts toward a small house in Kalmoe, where he and Yoon Hee once stole a few flPolitical prisoner Hyun Woo is freed after eighteen years to find no trace of the world he knew. The friends with whom he shared utopianist dreams are gone. His Seoul is unrecognizably transformed and aggressively modernized. Yoon Hee, the woman he loved, died three years ago. A broken man, he drifts toward a small house in Kalmoe, where he and Yoon Hee once stole a few fleeting months of happiness while fleeing the authorities. In the company of her diaries, he relives and reviews his life, trying to find meaning in the revolutionary struggle that consumed their youth-a youth of great energy and optimism, victim to implacable history. Hyun Woo weighs the worth of his own life, spent in prison, and that of the strong-willed artist Yoon Hee, whose involvement in rebel groups took her to Berlin and the fall of the wall. With great poignancy, Hwang Sok-yong grapples with the immortal questions-the endurance of love, the price of a commitment to causes-while depicting a generation that sacrifi ced youth, liberty, and often life, for the dream of a better tomorrow. Born in 1943, Hwang Sok-yong is a Korean writer of world renown and the recipient of numerous international awards and honors. His work, which grapples with the troubled recent history of his divided country, has been the cause of his imprisonment, his exile, and finally that rare achievement of a wide readership and appreciation in both North and South Korea. The Old Garden is, by the author's own admission, his most deeply auto biographical work....more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Seven Stories Press (first published May 2nd 2000)