Vaseline Buddha by Jung Young Moon

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...Jung avoids offering solutions, giving us instead this “long thought” in the form (and the chaos) of a novel, hoping that that might be enough. It is.
-LA Times

Synopsis

"If someone in the future asks in frustration, 'What has Korean literature been up to?' we can quietly hand them Vaseline Buddha." — Pak Mingyu

A tragicomic odyssey told through free association scrubs the depths of the human psyche to achieve a higher level of consciousness equal to Zen meditation. The story opens when our sleepless narrator thwarts a would-be thief outside his moonlit window, then delves into his subconscious imagination to explore a variety of geographical and mental locations—real, unreal, surreal—to explore the very nature of reality.

Jung Young Moon, 2005 alum of Iowa's International Writing Program, is one of South Korea's most award-winning, eccentric, and handsome authors, often compared to Kafka and Beckett.

 

About Jung Young Moon

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Jung Young Moon was born in Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea in 1965. He graduated from Seoul National University with a degree in psychology. He made his literary début in 1996 with the novel A Man Who Barely Exists. Jung is also an accomplished translator who has translated more than forty books from English into Korean, including works by John Fowles, Raymond Carver, and Germaine Greer. In 1999 he won the 12th Dongseo Literary Award with his collection of short stories, A Chain of Dark Tales. In 2005 Jung was invited to participate in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, and in 2010 the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Korean Study invited him to participate in a three-month-long residency program. in 2012, he won the Han Moo-suk Literary Award, the Dong-in Literary Award, and the Daesan Literary Award for his novel A Contrived World, which is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive, who also published his short story collection A Most Ambiguous Sunday and Other Stories in 2014.Jung Yewon was born in Seoul, and moved to the US at the age of 12. She received a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and an MA from the Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
 
Published June 13, 2016 by Deep Vellum Publishing. 184 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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LA Times

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Reviewed by Tyler Malone on Aug 18 2016

...Jung avoids offering solutions, giving us instead this “long thought” in the form (and the chaos) of a novel, hoping that that might be enough. It is.

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