From Wonso Pond
From Wonso Pond
A colonial-period Korean novel, through the eyes of its working-class heroes.
Translated by Samuel Perry
Kang's proletarian masterpiece charts the voyages of a young woman, a woodcutter, a law student, and a "modern girl" from a Korean village to life as workers and underground activists in the port city of Inch'on.
“From Wŏnso Pond is an astonishing achievement of a young author whose life and work ended far too soon. Here, we have two girls and two boys, four hearts and two roads. From a colonized Korea, Kang sets the stage for the tragic birth of two rival nations. John Dos Passos and George Orwell may have had a Korean sister yet.” —Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food For Millionaires
“A vibrant account of the travails of Japanese colonialism as experienced by workers and women by the pioneering feminist writer of the Korean left." —Andre Schmid, author of Korea Between Empires
“How refreshing it is to have a good old-fashioned story, told without narrative tricks or artifice. Kang Kyong-ae's From Wŏnso Pond is a powerful novel that charts the struggles of her impassioned characters as they learn to live, work, and love. The questions Kang poses and the issues she tackles are as universal as they are enduring. This essential work should be required reading for anyone interested in Korean history and literature.” —Sung J. Woo, author of Everything Asian: A Novel
“Anyone who wants to understand the terrible, wrenching conflicts that Koreans have endured and transcended in the past century could well begin with Kang Kyong-ae’s brilliant, poignant, masterful novel. Her penetrating eye and sensibility fall on individuals that conventional writers miss—the poor, the frail, the heterodox, the women. To have a voice like this restored and rendered into English with such deftness by Samuel Perry is truly a major achievement.” —Bruce Cumings, author of The Origins of the Korean War