Yi Munyol is one of Korea's most acclaimed writers. He has authored several novels (many of which have sold into the millions), novellas, and collections of political and social commentary.
Yi was born two years before the outbreak of the Korean War. When the war began, his father defected to North Korea. As a consequence, his family had to contend with poverty, social stigma, and police surveillance. These factors came into play when Yi decided to drop out of school. Suffering from deep depression, he came close to committing suicide. In order to deal with his personal pain, he read voraciously and began to write.
His work has been translated into eight languages. In 1999, he won Korea's coveted Ho-Am Prize in the Arts, an annual award given in five categories (science, engineering, medicine, arts, and community service) and sponsored by the Samsung Foundation. Along with numerous other literary prizes, he received the Dongni Literature Prize in 2012.
He is a Professor of English at Kyunghee University in Seoul.
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