Rina by Kang Young-sook
(Library of Korean Literature)

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Discontinuous and sometimes daunting in its strangeness, Kang’s novel offers a postmodern commentary on globalism (“Cheapest is best whether it’s for products or for labor”) and totalitarianism. At times it’s a cousin of Pinocchio, but at others, it’s a Korean rejoinder to The Tin Drum.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Rina is a defector from a country that might be North Korea, traversing an "empty and futile" landscape. Along the way, she is forced to work at a chemical plant, murders a few people, becomes a prostitute, runs a lucrative bar, and finds a solace in a motley family of wanderers all as disenfranchised as she. Brutal and unflinching, with elements of the mythic and grotesque interspersed with hard-edged realism, Rina is a pioneering work of Korean postmodernism.
 

About Kang Young-sook

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Kang Young-sook was born in Chuncheon, Gangwondo, and graduated from the Seoul Institute of the Arts. She attended the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 2009, and has served as an advisory member of the Korea Dialogue Academy since 1990.Kim Boram was born in Massachusetts. Her first translated work was Kim Yeon-su's short story "The Five Pleasures of Walking." She is currently working toward her PhD in English at UCLA.
 
Published December 18, 2015 by Dalkey Archive Press. 215 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 07 2015

Discontinuous and sometimes daunting in its strangeness, Kang’s novel offers a postmodern commentary on globalism (“Cheapest is best whether it’s for products or for labor”) and totalitarianism. At times it’s a cousin of Pinocchio, but at others, it’s a Korean rejoinder to The Tin Drum.

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