by Open Letter
This 2006 collection of short stories is in line with the unsettling, engrossing style of Ha’s other two collections that have been translated into English, the critical and commercial successes Flowers of Mold and Bluebeard’s First Wife. A best-seller in Korea, Ha Seong-nan is one of the stars of contemporary short fiction, writing edgy, socially conscious stories that bring to mind the novels of Han Kang and the film Parasite.
Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
About the Author:
Ha Seong-nan is the author of five short story collections—including Bluebeard's First Wife and Flowers of Mold—and three novels. Over her career, she's received a number of prestigious awards, such as the Dong-in Literary Award in 1999, Hankook Ilbo Literary Prize in 2000, the Isu Literature Prize in 2004, the Oh Yeong-su Literary Award in 2008, and the Contemporary Literature (Hyundae Munhak) Award in 2009.
About the Translator:
Janet Hong is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. She received the 2018 TA First Translation Prize and the 2018 LTI Korea Translation Award for her translation of Han Yujoo’s The Impossible Fairy Tale. She’s a two-time winner of the Harvey Award for Best International Book for her translations of Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass and Yeong-shin Ma’s Moms. Other recent translations include Ha Seong-nan’s Bluebeard’s First Wife (selected as Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2020) and Kwon Yeo-sun’s Lemon. She is currently the Korean prose mentor for ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program.
Praise for Ha Seong-nan:
"These mesmerizing stories of disconnection and detritus unfurl with the surreal illogic of dreams—it’s as impossible to resist their pull as it is to understand, in retrospect, how circumstance succeeded circumstance to finally deliver the reader into a moment as indelible as it is unexpected. Janet Hong’s translation glitters like a blade.”—Susan Choi
"Flowers of Mold shows Ha Seong-nan to be a master of the strange story. . . . one is left feeling unsettled, as if something is not right with the world—or, rather (and this latter option becomes increasingly convincing), as if something is not right with you."—Brian Evenson