Publication Date: 11/05/2023 ISBN: 9781913348953 Category:

Mater 2-10

Hwang Sok-yong, Sora Kim-Russell, Youngjae Josephine Bae

Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication Date: 11/05/2023 ISBN: 9781913348953 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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International Booker-nominated virtuoso Hwang Sok-yong is back with another powerful story – an epic tale that threads together a century of Korean history.

In contemporary Seoul, a laid-off worker stages a months-long sit-in atop a sixteen-storey factory chimney. During the long and lonely nights, he talks to his ancestors, chewing on the meaning of life, on wisdom passed down the generations.

Through the lives of those ancestors, three generations of railroad workers, Mater 2-10 vividly portrays the struggles of ordinary Koreans, starting from the Japanese colonial era, continuing through Liberation, and right up to the twenty-first century. It is at once a gripping account of a nation’s longing to be free from oppression, a lyrical folktale that reflects the blood, sweat, and tears shed by modern industrial labourers, and a culmination of Hwang’s career – a masterpiece thirty years in the making.

A true voice of a generation, Hwang shows again why he is unmatched when it comes to depicting the roots and reality of a divided nation and bringing to life the trials and tribulations of the Korean people.

Publisher Review

Praise for Familiar Things: 'A powerful examination of capitalism from one of South Korea's most acclaimed authors ... [Hwang] challenges us to look back and reevaluate the cost of modernisation, and see what and whom we have left behind.' * The Guardian * Praise for Familiar Things: 'Hwang Sok-yong is one of South Korea's foremost writers, a powerful voice for society's marginalised, and Sora Kim-Russell's translations never falter.' -- Deborah Smith, translator of The Vegetarian Praise for At Dusk: 'Having been imprisoned for political reasons, Hwang has a restrained, delicate touch, alive to the nuances of memory, the slipperiness of the past, and the difficult choices life forces us to make ... Subtly political, deeply humane, a story about home, loss, and the cost of a country's advancement.' -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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