Chopstick Woman (젓가락여자)

Translation: Jeon Miseli


Bi-lingual Modern Series features bilingual (Korean-English) editions of texts by the most interesting authors from South Korea, which make up the modern canon of the country’s literature. The editors emphasize that the selection of the best stories is crucial for them – but everything in these books is enjoyable: careful editing, aesthetics or an interesting study in the form of a commentary/essay offered after the main text.

In Chopstick Woman, the unnamed narrator invites her former colleague and writer, So Jin, to a book club meeting. The narrator also wanted to become a writer, but she failed to achieve it, partly because she faced criticism from people whose opinion she cared about – including So Jin herself. She found another job, got married, became a mother, but the dream of writing still remained. Now she runs a well-known blog The woman who reads for you, where she publishes literary reviews, including reviewing works by So Jin…

The network of connections between the narrator and So Jin, which has been formed over the years, is complicated, full of emotions and conflict. In different paths, their deepest desires are confronted, and under the cloak of friendly kindness there is hidden jealousy. Cheon Un-yeong’s world is real and imperfect – just like the characters.

"She'll come. She's not cold-hearted. And it's a request from none other than me. So, she'll accept the invitation. No matter how busy she is, she'll come. But please, don't get your hopes up."

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