At Dusk

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5.1 X 7.7 X 0.7 inches | 0.45 pounds
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About the Author

Hwang Sok-yong was born in 1943 and is arguably Korea's most renowned author. In 1993, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for an unauthorized trip to the North to promote exchange between artists in the two Koreas. Five years later, he was released on a special pardon by the new president. The recipient of Korea's highest literary prizes, he has been shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger and was awarded the Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature for his book At Dusk. His novels and short stories are published in North and South Korea, Japan, China, France, Germany, and the United States. Previous novels include The Ancient Garden, The Story of Mister Han, The Guest, and The Shadow of Arms.

Sora Kim-Russell has translated numerous works of Korean fiction, including Hwang Sok-yong's Princess Bari (Garnet Publishing, 2015), Familiar Things (Scribe, 2017), and At Dusk (Scribe, 2018), which was longlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.


"Hwang Sok-yong's At Dusk is a perfect slice of Koreana...shows the underbelly of a nation through the life of characters inhabiting society's bottom rung...Sok-yong proves once again that fiction can be the best way to tell devastating truths."
--Gabino Iglesias, NPR

"Having been imprisoned for political reasons, Hwang has a restrained, delicate touch, alive to the nuances of memory, the slipperiness of the past, and the difficult choices life forces us to make...Subtly political, deeply humane, a story about home, loss, and the cost of a country's advancement."STARRED REVIEW
--Kirkus Reviews

"Here [Sok-yong] scrutinizes the quiet disconnect of contemporary relationships through the life of a successful, sixty-something Seoul architect...A piercing modern tale about all we can never know about our loved ones and ourselves"STARRED REVIEW
--Terry Hong, Booklist

"Hwang is a master storyteller...his writing is sparse and evocative."
--Asymptote Journal

"Celebrated author Hwang Sok-yong explores the human toll of South Korea's rapid modernization...Through the lens of Seoul's urban housing and architecture, he traces the development of South Korean modernization and highlights the extremes to which its citizens are pushed, challenging readers in the process to reexamine if the nation's transformation can truly be considered successful."
--International Examiner

"These characters illustrate South Korea's sharp economic divides and explore what is required to improve one's lot in life--and whether it's even possible for more than a very few. It captures so much in under 200 pages: economic inequality; gender, class, and educational divides; and the complex relationships individuals and the culture at large have with their own history."

"Hwang is a master storyteller...his writing is sparse and evocative."
--Asymptote Journal

Praise for the author:

"Hwang Sok-yong is undoubtedly the most powerful voice of the novel in Asia today."
--Kenzaburō Ōe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature

"Hwang Sok-yong is one of South Korea's foremost writers, a powerful voice for society's marginalized, and Sora Kim-Russell's translations never falter."
--Deborah Smith, translator of The Vegetarian

Praise for Princess Bari (Scribe, 2019)

"A mesmerizing odyssey through the beauty, suffering, and rage that flow from the irrepressible desire to live." STARRED REVIEW

"Combining brutal adversity, escapist fantasy, and deep humanity, Hwang...indelibly alchemizes the plight of the North Korean refugee, and refugees worldwide, into resonantly timely storytelling."

"Compelling and heartrending...In Hwang's probing, compassionate work, Western readers unfamiliar with Eastern philosophy and culture will experience new takes on folkloric wisdom born of the enduring collective imagination."
--Los Angeles Review of Books

"[A]n unquestionably valuable book...Princess Bari deserves praise for offering the opportunity to confront difficult and timely subjects such as the environmental destruction caused by rapid modernization and the complicated nature of immigration and human trafficking."
--Reading in Translation

Praise for Familiar Things (Scribe, 2018)

"Galvanized by Nobel Prize-winner Kenzaburo Oe's resounding endorsement--'undoubtedly the most powerful voice in Asia today'--and master translator Sora Kim Russell's exquisite rendition, Hwang's latest anglophonic import is surely poised for western success." STARRED REVIEW
--Terry Hong, Booklist

"Familiar Things... serves as a powerful and potentially contentious reminder of the difficult backstory to South Korean success. As one of the country's most prominent novelists, Hwang has never shied away from controversy...With Familiar Things, Hwang turns his attention to the underside of South Korea's remarkable economic development, namely, the vast underclass it has created. Hwang's riveting tale of second-class citizenship, in which the main characters are forced to pick through garbage to survive, gestures not just at the country's past and what was lost during rapid modernization. It also serves as an implicit warning about the future of the Korean peninsula."
--John Feffer, Boston Review

"One of South Korea's most acclaimed authors ... [In Familiar Things, Hwang] challenges us to look back and reevaluate the cost of modernisation, and see what and whom we have left behind."
--The Guardian

"[A] vivid depiction of a city too quick to throw away both possessions and people."
--Financial Times

"Sora Kim-Russell's translation moves gracefully between gritty, whiffy realism and folk-tale spookiness."
--The Economist