Seon-ok Gong -Jeolla Novelist

While her novels are not yet translated into English, Seon-ok Gong is a moving writer from Jeollanamdo. Born in Gokseong-gun, Jeollanam-do in 1963, she studied Korean Language and Literature at CNU in 1983, took a break from university and never went back. Instead she’s written some of the most moving tales of tragedy and healing about modern life and how Jeolla plays a special role in recovering from life’s difficulties.

In 1991, she started her literary career in 창작과 비평 (Creation and Criticism), a literary magazine, with her short novel, “Seed Fire” (씨앗 불). Her stories, usually about women’s life, focus heavily on maternal love. In 1992 she wrote the short story, “Life” (삶). Her short novel, “Rainy Season” (장마) won a literary award from a woman’s newspaper, 여성신문

I hope that Seoul Selection starts a special section for Gwangju and Jeolla. These are novels that I think many could identify with as well as come to feel the unique healing presence of the southwest corner of South Korea.

List of her writings and awards
1993 오지리에 두고 온 서른 살 “30 years of my life left on Ogee Street” (novel)
1994 불탄 자리에 무엇이 돋는가 “What sprouts from the burnt ground?”
1994 우리 생애의 꽃 “Flower of our lifetime”
1994 목포는 항구다 “Mokpo is a seaport”
1994 피어라 수선화 “Bloom Daffodil”
1995 시절들 “Days/Years”
1995 계간지 <리뷰 Review> 연재
1995 모정의 그늘 “Shades of Maternal Love “
1995 우리들의 고향 “Our Hometown”
1995 Received The 13th Dong-yeop SHIN신동엽’s Creation Fund
1998 내 생의 알리바이 “Alibi in my life”
2001 수수밭으로 오세요 “Come to the sorghum field “
2002 멋진 한세상 “Wonderful Lifetime”
2003 붉은 포대기 “Ruddy Baby Blanket”
2000 자운영 꽃밭에서 나는 울었네 “I cried in the flower garden blossomed with Chinese milk vetch” (essay)
2003 공선옥, 마흔에 길을 나서다 “Seon-ok GONG: embarking on a journey at the age of 40”
2004 Received “Today’s 12th Young Artist” literature award

Special thanks to SingSing and 8ball for translation.

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