The LARB Korea Blog is currently featuring selections from The Explorer’s History of Korean Fiction in Translation, Charles Montgomery’s book-in-progress that attempts to provide a concise history, and understanding, of Korean literature as represented in translation. You can find links to previous selections at the end of the post.

Two weeks ago, this chapter began on the Korea Blog with the conclusion of the Korean War, focusing on the moment of separation and its aftermath. This half focuses more on what one might call “second generation” separation literature, the writing that attempts to look at the separation from a generational remove, not examining national separation directly but the notion of separation in more personal and social settings. A good example of late-era separation literature, Kim Won-Il’s Evening Glow, tells the story of a businessman named Kim Kapsu returning to his countryside home for a funeral. There he reconnects with and re-assesses the complicated strands of his previous life, one lived in the turbulent period of Korean Civil War.