House of Twilight

Yun Heung-Gil, Author, Gil Yun Heung, Author, J. Martin Homon, Editor Readers International $9.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-930523-60-2
The seven works of short fiction that form this potent English-language debut by a South Korean introduce a people dislocated physically, politically and psychologically by civil war. The child narrator of ``The Rainy Spell'' understands little of Communism or revolution, but receives a painful education in loyalty, betrayal, love and grief as political differences within his family culminate in the death of a relative. Fears of treachery and turbulence linger after war has ended, as the landlord in title is correct/pk ``The Man Who Was Left as Nine Pairs of Shoes'' is asked by a policeman to monitor a tenant and report his activities ``when he does something a little out of the ordinary.'' Even the self becomes a stranger, an object of suspicion: in ``Gang Beating'' characters file past a mirror in which ``you would unexpectedly find your other self . . . who would look larger or even fatter than you or grotesquely uglier.'' Occasional leadenness afflicts the style (``Rain enveloped the pitch darkness like a dripping-wet mop''); on the whole, however, the language is wrenching in its plainness. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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