The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Choi Eun-young of 'Shoko's Smile' returns with loving narrative on women

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Sept. 3, 2023 - 11:27

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"Even a Very Faint Light" by Choi Eun-young (Munhakdongne Publishing)

"Even a Very Faint Light"

By Choi Eun-young

Munhakdongne Publishing

Award-winning author Choi Eun-young of “Shoko’s Smile” returns with a collection of short stories, titled "Even a Very Faint Light.” This year marks the 10th anniversary of Choi’s literary debut.

One of the most prominent young female writers in Korea of the past decade, Choi has delved into the intricate and subtle emotions of characters as they navigate the complexities of connection and separation in relationships.

Her exploration extends to how personal relationships gain meaning in the broader social context in her debut book “Shoko’s Smile” (2016). The work was translated into English by Sung Ryu and published by Penguin Books in 2021.

Choi has examined the transformative process of healing through the confrontation of memories in "A Person Innocent to Me" (2018).

In her first full-length novel, "Bright Night" (2021), she portrayed the interwoven friendships among women against the backdrop of Korea's modern and contemporary history.

Her latest collection of stories maintains the critical awareness found in her previous works, while offering a deeper and sharper perspective. Throughout these narratives, women take center stage.

In the titular story, Hee-won, who returns to college after working at a bank, initially finds joy, but soon confronts unexpected challenges that test her relationships and self-esteem.

Choi demonstrates exceptional skill in depicting relationships. Her strength lies in capturing the pivotal moments of a relationship's beginnings and its eventual dissolution. Furthermore, she examines the various facets of these relationships in relation to pressing social issues.