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The Republic of Užupis


Užupis (meaning “on the other side of the river”) is, in reality, a neighborhood in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city, which took the peculiar step of declaring itself an independent republic in 1997. In this novel, however, it is the lost homeland of a middle-aged man named Hal, who lands in Lithuania hoping to bury his father’s ashes in the country of his birth – a place he is told does not exist.

In this unique and melancholic work author Haïlji, while appearing to shun Korea, is in fact examining the yearnings and dislocation of his contemporary Koreans, and posits the idea that freedom and nationhood themselves may be just a dream.




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