• Book
  • English(English)


  • Author
  • Country
    Republic of Korea
  • Publisher
  • Published Year
  • Genre
    Literature - Korean literature - Contemporary fiction



    Title: Zombies

    Author: Kim Jung-hyuk

    Genre: Novel


    LTI Korea staff: Alex Baek ( / +82-2-6919-7733)


  • About the book


    Zombies is the first full-length novel by Kim Junghyuk whose other works have enjoyed much popularity among readers for his ingenious imagination, slick humor, and compassionate point of view. This particular work presents an enticing interplay of unique characters, an atypical setting, and witty conversations along with the tension created by the presence of zombies, the uncanny beings.


    In the novel, zombies do not serve as a symbolic representation of an absolute death or a disease, and neither are they an “Other” that must be persecuted and eliminated. As the unfolding story line reveals, they are beings that could easily have been our family, or close neighbors, and those that appear in front of the living as the memories that connect the dead and the survived. The protagonist, who could not free himself from the death of his brother for a long time, also must confront the memory of the death and comes to an understanding of what meaning life may hold through coming face to face with those zombies. As the author states, “This is not a story about zombies. It is one about the memories that have been forgotten. It is a story about the people who desire to remember.” (Epilogue)


    The climactic moment of the work comes in the last scene of the novel where the protagonist marches into the oblivion along with hundreds of zombies through the flames surrounding them in all directions while blasting the music of Stone Flower. Just as the protagonist has come together and formed a community with Chubby278 and Hong Hyejeong through the music of Stone Flower, a 60’s rock band, he and the hundreds of zombies come together in the stench of blood and roars through rock-and-roll music heading forward into one shared destiny. This is a ‘zombie tale a la Kim Junghyuk’ born out of the author’s twisting and deconstructing the conventions of the genre through the positive outlook and soundness, which are his signature, that escapes being mistaken with any other writer. 


    About the author


    Kim Junghyuk was born in 1971. He started his writing career in 2000 with the publication of his short stories. The follwing are some of his works. Collections of short stories: Penguin News, The Library of Musical Instruments, 1F/B1. Full-length novels: Zombies, Mr. Monorail, Your Shadow Is A Monday. Collections of essays: Something Will Come of It, I think, Hopelessly happily-ever-after (coauthor), Everything as a Song. Kim has established his own place in the Korean literary scene with works in which his individual taste and cultural predilections shine through, rather than major discourses on philosophy and ideology. Some of the ideas that are key to understanding the worlds created in Kim’s works would be the things analogue, the attachment to little things of no apparent use, the brilliant daydreams serving no practical purpose, the compassion for all minorities, the interest on variety of aspects of the culture, including music, films, and sports, and the warmth and humor. Aside from his novelist career, Kim also enjoys quite a bit of popularity from various other activities such as writing essays and hosting podcasts. The French translation of Zombies is scheduled to be published in France during the second half of 2014 by Decrescenzo Editeurs. 


    About the translators


    Hwang Kyu Hyung is a translator. 


    Media Response/Awards Received


    Wit, humor, and Warmth dominate the novel. A welcome present for readers that have enjoyed the lively and cheerful tone of Kim Junghyuk’s novels.

    -The Hankyoreh


    Sentimental rather than gory, this is a Kim Junghyuk’s brand of zombie novel. Kim sheds light on the fact that ‘a life is lived alongside the memories of deaths’ by drawing a figurative connection to the setting of the novel in which the living and the living dead are bound together in an unseverable web of human relations.

    -The Hankook-ilbo


    Instead of a battle for the future of humanity against the threats of zombies, what they face is a piece of their past. Readers can expect to enjoy Kim’s humor in his version of zombie novel, though it is not without a bit of melancholy.

    -Cine 21 


Translated Books (16)

News from Abroad (28)