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82 nyeon saeng Kim Ji-young [Kim Ji-young, Born in 1982]

In October 2016 the Korean publishing house Minumsa released a short novel called Kim Ji-young, Born in 1982, the latest in a series of works of fiction by “today’s young writers.” The author is a former television scriptwriter, Cho Nam-joo, born in 1978, who had published well-received short stories. She wrote the novel in two months, inspired by her favorite English-language writer, Rebecca Solnit, and maddened by the turns her own life had taken as a Korean woman and the treatment she faced as a new mother. One day, while taking a coffee break with her baby, she heard male passersby refer to her as 맘충, or “mom-worm,” a nasty epithet for mothers who have the gall to leave their homes.

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