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The Golden Phoenix: Seven Contemporary Korean Short Stories

Suh Ji-moon, translator and editor
ISBN: 978-0-89410-862-4
ISBN: 978-0-89410-882-2
1999/302 pages/LC: 98-39396

"A deeply convincing collection; highly recommended for all collections." —Choice

"The Golden Phoenix is like one of those wonderful stone walls you can find almost anywhere in the Korean countryside. Each stone is a different size, a different shape, a different color, and a different weight. They are laid carefully together, and their individual weight and density keep them in place and create a wall without any mortar at all.

"Every one of these stories stands on its own as a well-crafted tale, but together, especially with professor Suh's informative 'Introduction: A Context for Korean Fiction,' they provide an opportunity for the reader to discover something about the traditional Korea, the rural Korea, the Korea beyond the sprawl and hustle of Seoul." —Korea Herald


These seven stories, dramatic and thought-provoking, provide a compelling picture of Korean life in the 1940s–1990s.

Family and community ties, respect for tradition, survival in the face of repeated national disasters and wrenching social upheaval—these are among the themes evoked in the collection. The narratives make palpable the lives and emotions of characters from many differing backgrounds, all of whom must negotiate the same historical legacy and contradictory modern developments.


Suh Ji-moon is professor of English at Korea University. Her publications include Faces in the Well, and her translation of The Rainy Spell and Other Korean Stories received the Republic of Korea Literature Award.


  • Introduction: A Context for Korean Fiction—Suh Ji-moon.
  • The Golden Phoenix—Yi Mun-yol.
  • The Girl from the Wind-Whipped House—Yun Hu-myong.
  • The Sunset Over My Hometown—Yi Mun-ku.
  • The Mural—Kim Yong-hyon.
  • The Flower with Thirteen Fragrances—Ch’oe Yun.
  • The Monument Intersection—O Chong-h i.
  • The Rainy Spell—Yoon Heung- gil.