Years and Years
From the internationally acclaimed author of One Hundred Shadows and I’ll Go On
Years and Years opens with the elderly Yi Sunil, devoted housewife and mother of three, making her annual pilgrimage to a remote village in South Korea to visit her grandfather’s grave—likely for the final time. What follows is a multigenerational exploration of desires thwarted by societal obligations and mores for the women in this family.
Sejin, the middle child, keeps her sexuality closeted, while her older sister, Yeongjin, finds herself financially responsible for the rest of the family, forcing her to give up on her personal dreams. Meanwhile, the youngest, Mansu, leaves the family for New Zealand, where he is free to pursue his own career and life, ironically supported by the sacrifices of his mother and sisters.
Tracing the lives of the family’s three women, Years and Years exposes the ways in which, despite the empathy we harbor for our loved ones, we inevitably trap one another in particular roles, while also illuminating our resolve to carry on through the constraints of time and tradition.
Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
About the Author:
Born in 1976, Hwang Jungeun is one of the bright young things of Korean literature, having published two collections of short stories and three novels to date. One Hundred Shadows (2010), her first novel, was both a critical and commercial success; its mix of oblique fantasy, hard-edge social critique, and offbeat romance garnered the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award and the Korean Booksellers’ Award.
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 Hwang Jungeun:
"There is an unforgettable, curious beauty to be found [in One Hundred Shadows]."—Han Kang, Winner of the Man Booker International Prize
"A profound, lyrical incantation . . . What could be a fairly depressing story [I'll Go On] is raised to a thing of crystalline incandescence because of the sensitivity and humanity with which both author and translator craft this work"—Translating Women
"I’ll Go On tenderly and poetically examines the bonds of sisterhood and family—the one we’re born with and the one we choose—exploring both the damage love can do and its capacity for healing. It’s at once sad and hopeful, quiet and yet full to the brim of an intense and beautiful energy."—Sophie Mackintosh