Already a wildly popular bestseller in South Korea, this gripping and passionate debut novel is a death row love story of crime, punishment, and forgiveness--vividly told by the exquisitely talented Gong Ji-young.
Yu-Jung, beautiful, wealthy, and bright, is lying in her hospital bed, recovering from her third suicide attempt, when she receives a life-changing visit. Her no-nonsense aunt, a nun, appears by her side and suggests Yu-Jung accompany her on a charitable visit to death row. At her lowest ebb, Yu-Jung is resistant. But something compels her to go to the prison. There she meets Yun-Soo, a convicted murderer who will soon be put to death. Though she is repulsed by his crimes, something about the depth of his suffering strikes a chord in her. Shaken by their encounter, she returns to visit him the next week. And the next...
Through their weekly, hour-long meetings, Yu-Jung and Yun-Soo slowly reveal to each other the dark secrets of their pasts and the hidden traumas that have shaped their lives. In doing so they form a deep, unbreakable bond, helping one another overcome their demons. But Yun-Soo's hands are always in cuffs, the prison officers are always in the background, and they can never lose sight of the fact that their happy time together is tragically brief.
Gracefully poetic and ideal for fans of Kyung-Sook Shin's Please Look After Mother
, Our Happy Time
is a passionate and heartbreaking love story as well as an important, hard-hitting, and compassionate fable.
About the Author
Gong Ji-young is one of Korea's most beloved and critically acclaimed novelists. She has sold more than 10 million books in South Korea alone. Her awards include the 2011 Yisand Literary Award, the 21st Century Literary Award, the Korean Novel Prize, Special Media Award, and Amnesty International for Our Happy Times. This is Gong's first novel to be translated into English. Her books are published in China, Thailand, Japan, and the UK.
Sora Kim-Russell is a literary translator based in Seoul. Her translations include Hwang Sok-yong's Princess Bari, Suah Bae's Nowhere to be Found, and Kyung-sook Shin's I'll Be Right There. She teaches at Ewha Womans University and the Literary Translation Institute of Korea. Her full list of publications can be found at sorakimrussell.com.