Three Generations by Yom Sang-seopThree Generations by Yom Sang-seop

Three Generations

byYom Sang-seopTranslated byYu Young-nan

Paperback | December 13, 2006

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Touted as one of Korea’s most important works of fiction, Three Generations (published in 1931 as a serial in Chosun Ilbo) charts the tensions in the Jo family in 1930s Japanese occupied Seoul. Yom’s keenly observant eye reveals family tensions withprofound insight. Delving deeply into each character’s history and beliefs, he illuminates the diverse pressures and impulses driving each. This Korean classic, often compared to Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Makioka Sisters, reveals the country’s situation under Japanese rule, the traditional Korean familial structure, and the battle between the modern and the traditional. The long-awaited publication of this masterpiece is a vital addition to Korean literature in English.
Yom Sang-seop was born in 1897 in Seoul. In 1919, he participated in an independence movement against the Japanese,for which he was jailed. He published his first stories, Hakjigwang and Samgwang in the same year. In 1953, he received the Seoul Culture Award. He was also awarded the Asia Freedom Literature Award in 1956, as well as the...
Title:Three GenerationsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:476 pages, 8 × 6.4 × 1.3 inPublished:December 13, 2006Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:097785762X

ISBN - 13:9780977857623

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Read from the Book

Standing on the stone step in front of the inner quarters, Deok-gi watched a manservant packing a quilt and pillow for him on the veranda. His grandfather came in from the outer quarters, his hands clasped behind his back. Seeing Deok-gi, he frowned and started grumbling. "Deok-gi, someone’s here looking for you. Who is this guy? His hair is a mess. You know it’s important to have good friends. Why do all your friends who come around look like that?" His eyes widened as he caught sight of the quilt the manservant was wrapping. He stepped closer and touched it. "What’s this? What’s the good quilt —" Then he exploded.

Editorial Reviews

A classic work of Korean fiction following the tense dynamics of the Jo family in 1930s Japanese-occupied Seoul. Skillfully describing traditional Korean family structure, and vividly portraying the effects of Japanese rule, Three Generations presents a fierce battle between modern and traditional elements, as well as a chilling portrayal of the ruthlessness with which a colonial power imposed its will upon those under its control. Midwest Book Review One of the most important masterpieces of Korean fiction. —Kyoto Journal Vividly capturing the cultural, moral, and political complexities of the Japanese colonial period through the urban microcosms of bars, stores, noodle shops, streets crowded with trolleys and rickshaws, and centuries-old mansions. —Bookforum The novel, filled with gossip and family intrigue as scandalous as any contemporary soap opera, reads deliciously like a Dostoevsky novel or Les Liaisons Dangereuses meets Korea’s traditional middle class. —KoreAm With its complex plot and huge cast of characters, Three Generations evokes not only Korean culture at a critical juncture in its history, but the strength and pleasures of its literature. —Moorish Girl While valuable to its originating nation as a document of the political and social times, the real meat of this novel is the timeless conflict and confluence among strong personalities born into differing social strata. When rendered with understanding and humor, as this is, it makes for a ripping read. —Bookslut