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This title in other editions
Other titles in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European series:
The Descendants of Cain (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works)by Hwang Sun-won
Synopses & Reviews
Hwang Sun-won, perhaps the most beloved and respected Korean writer of the twentieth century, based this extraordinary novel on his own experience in his North Korean home village between the end of World War Il and the eve of the Korean War when Korea had been divided into North and South by its two "liberators" — the United States and the Soviet Union. In this story the Soviet-backed communist party, using the promise of land reform, sets people at each other's throat. Portrayed here is an entire community caught in a political and social firestorm that brings out the selfishness, cruelty, and ignorance of simple people, but also shows their loyalty and nobility. Compelling here, too, are a heroine who represents the "eternally feminine" for all Korean men, and the setting, the harsh political, psychic and physical landscape of rural postwar North Korea rarely glimpsed by the outside world. Hwang Sun-won is an artist of consummate delicacy and subtlety, and his writing is marked by keen psychological insight and steely asceticism. While three collections of his short stories have appeared in Hong Kong and the West, The Descendants of Cain is the first English translation of a Hwang Sun-won novel.
Book News Annotation:
This novel on the Communist land reform of the northern half of the Korean peninsula shortly after World War II depicts the disintegration of traditional relations between landlords and tenant farmers, and the regime's denunciations of intellectuals and landowners. Translated from the original Korean. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Hwang Sun-won is one of the most beloved and respected Korean writers of the twentieth century. This extraordinary novel is based on his own experience in his North Korean village at a historic turning point for modern Korea between the end of World War II (and with it the end of the 35-year Japanese occupation of Korea) and the eve of the Korean War just when Korea had been divided into North and South by its two "liberators" - the United States and the Soviet Union. Portrayed here is an entire community caught in a political and social firestorm that scathingly reveals the selfishness, cruelty, and ignorance of simple people, but also their loyalty and nobility.
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