Kang Kyeong-ae (1906-1944), one of Korea’s great modern authors, wrote her stories during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Kang’s work is remarkable for its rejection of colonialism, patriarchy, and ethnic nationalism during a period when such views were truly radical and dangerous. With an expert commentary by Sang-kyung Lee and beautifully translated by Anton Hur, this collection of Kang’s work displays her sensitivity, defiance, class-consciousness, and deep understanding of the oppressed people she wrote about.
Born in what is now North Korea to an impoverished family, as a young woman, Kang was a teacher in Manchuria, where she witnessed fierce infighting between Korean nationalists and communists and the persecution of ethnic Koreans by Manchurian warlords. It was in Manchuria that Kang started writing her stories, which were shaped by her life experiences and left-wing political views.