The Korean Cultural Centre’s Korean Literature night will this month focus on The Square by Choi In-hun. Taking place on Thursday 29th October the event is already fully booked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read the book!
Published shortly after the Student Revolution that overthrew President Syngman Lee, The Square is regarded as having kicked off a new era in Korean literature. The KCCUK describes The Square as a:
groundbreaking classic of Korean modernism tackling the shattering effect of the division of Korea. Taking place just before the Korean War, it follows its protagonist as he travels to the North hoping to escape what he sees as the repressive right-wing regime in the South only to find that a different sort of lie reigns in the so-called worker’s paradise.
Choi In-hun, was born in 1936 in Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province, which is now in North Korea.
With his family he fled to South Korean aboard a US Navy Ship when war broke out in 1950.
In his final year of law at Seoul National University, he enlisted in the army without completing his final semester. He began writing and publishing fiction whilst in the army, he served as an English interpreter and Troop Information & Education officer for seven years, before being discharged in 1963.
For almost 25 years, until 2001, he was a resident professor of Creative Writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.
Choi’s accolades are plenty, and include the Dong-in Literary Award (1966) and the first presentation of the Park Kyong-ni Prize (2011).
You can purchase a copy of The Square from Amazon’s Marketplace from just £3!