Silver Stallion: A Novel of Korea

Ahn Junghyo, Author, Junghyo Ahn, Author, Chong-Hyo An, Author Soho Press $19.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-939149-30-8
The second novel by this popular Korean writer ( White Badge ) to be published here in the last six months offers an intimate, mournful perspective on the Korean War, as the harmony of a tiny village is destroyed by the arrival of friendly foreign troops. In 1950, the hamlet of Kumsan is much the same as it was a century earlier; a rich elder serves as the arbiter of propriety, children play together in gangs, men farm and women run the households. But when air raids begin and Western soldiers (called bengkos --big noses) set up camp, Kumsan's delicate structure collapses. The author keeps his scale small but faultlessly detailed, letting events unfold primarily through the eyes of Mansik, a young boy whose mother is raped by soldiers and then shunned by the other villagers; eventually, she seeks work in a prostitute shantytown to feed her children. Though his subjects--the casual devastation wrought by armies and the cruel hypocrisy that can seethe within small communities--are anything but new, the author handles them with passion and precision. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-1-56947-003-9
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