Pak, Wan-so 1931–

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Pak, Wan-so 1931–

(Wan-suh Park)

PERSONAL: Name sometimes transliterated as Wansuh Park; born October 20, 1931, in Kaepung, Kyonggi-do, Korea. Education: Attended Seoul National University.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, White Pine Press, P.O. Box 236, Buffalo, NY 14201.

CAREER: Novelist and short story writer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Literature Prize for Korean Writers, 1980; Yi Sang Literary Award, 1981; Literature Prize of the Republic of Korea, 1990; Isan Literature Prize, 1991; Hyundai Munhak Literary Prize, 1993.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS; UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

Kkum ul tchingnun sajinsa, Yorhwadang (Seoul, South Korea), 1979.

Sesang eso cheil mugoun t'ulli, Samjungdang (Seoul, South Korea), 1979.

Yongmang ui ungdal: changp'yon sosol, Sumun Sog-wan (Seoul, South Korea), 1979, published as In'gan ui kkot, 1984.

Sara innun nal ui sijak, Chonyewon (Seoul, South Korea), 1980.

Yoja wa namja ka innun p'unggyong, Chuba Saengh-walsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1980.

Sarang kwa ujong ui segye, Sisa Yongosa (Seoul, South Korea), 1981.

Imin kanun maettol, Simsoltang (Seoul, South Korea), 1981.

Toduk majun kanan, Minumsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1981.

7-yon tongan ui cham, Tonghwa Ch'ulp'an Kongsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1982.

Oman kwa mongsang: changp'yon sosol, Han'guk Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1982.

Omma ui malkkuk (short stories), Irwol Sogak (Seoul, South Korea), 1982.

Ku hae kyoul un ttattut haenne, Minumsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1983.

Uri ap e han chulgi pit: hyondae yosong ul wihan salm ui ch'iyorhan pimangnok, Kirinwon (Seoul, South Korea), 1984.

Kkoltchi ege ponaenun kalch'ae, Haengnim ch'ulp'an (Seoul, South Korea), 1984.

Chigum un haengbokhan sigan in'ga, Chaya Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1985.

Ku kaul ui sahul tongan, Nanam (Seoul, South Korea), 1985.

Kurum i hullogan chari, Munhak Sasangsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1985.

So innun yoja, Hagwonsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1985.

Tosi ui hyungnyon, Munhak Sasangsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1985.

Tto hana ui pyol ul norae haja, Munhak Sasangsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1985.

(With others) Sarang i kudae sonchit hagodun (essays), Samjin Kihoek (Seoul, South Korea), 1986.

Kkot ul ch'ajaso (short stories), Ch'angjaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1986.

So innun yoja ui kaltung, Nanam (Seoul, South Korea), 1986.

Uri rul turyopke hanun kottul, Chayu Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1986.

(With others) Hoejim uro mannanun saramdul (essays), Ch'ongjosa (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Ult'arirul nomoso: yosong munhagin 25-in t'ema esei moum (essays), Kongdongch'e (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Ku hae kyoul un ttattut haenne, Chungang Ilbosa (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Mongmarun kyejol, Yollin Ch'aektul (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Pak Wan-so (selections), Tonga Ch'ulp'ansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Saram ui ilgi (short stories), Simji (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Sarang ku poda, Samhan Ch'ulp'ansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Huimang sahang, Munhak Segyesa (Seoul, South Korea), 1990.

(With others) Kaul e mannan saram (essays), Chesam Kihoek (Seoul, South Korea), 1990.

Kudae ajikto kkum kkugo innun'ga, Samjin Kihoek (Seoul, South Korea), 1990.

Mimang, Munhak Sasangsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1990.

Na nun wae chagun il eman pun'gae hanun'ga, Haeppit Ch'ulp'ansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1990.

Namok: changp'yon sosol, Chakka Chongsin (Seoul, South Korea), 1990.

K'un pada nun modu yoja rul talmatta (short stories), Chisong ui Saem (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

(With Yi Mun-yol and Pak Pom-sin oe) Wigi ui namja: namsong munje sosolchip (short stories), Tonggwang Ch'ulp'ansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Chomun nal ui saphwa, Munhak kwa Chisongsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Na ui arumdaun iut, Chakka Chongsin (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Kakkai, nul nae kyot e, Hyondae Munhwa Sent'a (Seoul, South Korea), 1992.

San kwa namu rul wihan sarangpop, Saemt'o (Seoul, South Korea), 1992.

Iron namja ramyon kasum i sollenda, Tonghwa Ch'ulp'ansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

Kkum kkunun ink'yubeit'o (short stories), Hyondae Munhak (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

(With others) Kudae chigum odi innun'ga: yosong sosol moumjip / O Hyon-ju, So Un-ji yokkum, Yosongsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

Pak Wan-so munhaksang susang chakp'umjip, Hunmin Chongum (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

Na ui kajang najong chiniin kot, Choson Ilbosa (Seoul, South Korea), 1994.

Sujong ui meari, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1994.

Han'gil saram sok (essays), Chakka Chongsin (Seoul, South Korea), 1995.

Ku mant'on singa nun nuga ta mogossulkka, Ungjin Ch'ulp'an (Seoul, South Korea), 1995.

The Naked Tree, Cornell University East Asia Program (Ithaca, NY), 1995.

Nomudo ssulssurhan tangsin (short stories), Ch'angjak kwa Pip'yongsa (Seoul, South Korea), 1998.

My Very Last Possession and Other Stories, M.E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1999.

Pak Wan-so tanp'yon sosol chonjip (short stories), Munhak Tongne (Seoul, South Korea), 1999.

A Sketch of the Fading Sun (stories), White Pine Press (Buffalo, NY), 1999.

Aju oraedoen nongdam, Silch'on Munhak (Seoul, South Korea), 2000.

Uri sidae ui sosolga Pak Wan-so rul ch'ajaso (criticism), Ungjin Datk'om (Seoul, South Korea), 2002.

I hanjang ui sajin, Saemt'o (Seoul, South Korea), 2004.

Ijulsu omnun pap han kurut (short stories and essays), Han'gilsa (Seoul, South Korea), 2004.

(With Kim Chom-son) Posini ch'am choatta (short stories), Igaso (Seoul, South Korea), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Korean author Wan-so Pak, who sometimes writes under the name Wan-suh Park, began writing while in her late thirties, but quickly became a prolific and well-respected author. She has written dozens of novels, as well as short-story collections and essays. Pak is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Literature Prize for Korean Writers in 1980, the Yi Sang Literary Award in 1981, and the Hyundai Munhak Literary Prize in 1993.

It was not until 1999 that Pak became better known outside of Korea with publication of My Very Last Possession and Other Stories, a collection of ten short stories the author wrote between 1974 and 1995. Many of the stories revolve around a main female character and shed light on the political events that shaped South Korea following the 1950s war.

Critics lauded Pak's work overall in My Very Last Possession and Other Stories. Many found merit in the author's perspective and enjoyed the history she incorporates into her work. "With a unique blend of historical acumen and feminist insight into Korea's changing culture, this volume discloses for the American reader the range of one of South Korea's most distinguished living writers," wrote Sybil S. Steinberg in a review for Publishers Weekly. Others praised the book for expanding the available examples of Korean literature in the American market. "This volume is a welcome addition to the growing body of modern Korean literary works now available in English," noted Journal of Asian Studies contributor JaHyun Kim Haboush.

Also in 1999, Pak published A Sketch of the Fading Sun. This book includes three short stories and a novella, all selected by the Daesan Foundation. Pak's main characters again are women, and the stories themselves explore Korean society and the repression often inflicted upon women. Critics also had much to praise for this work. For many, the author's revelations about the lives of Korean women made the book a compelling read. "These stories reveal women who cannot escape the inequity of gender relations," observed T. Carolan in a review for Choice.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, October, 2000, T. Carolan, review of A Sketch of the Fading Sun, p. 326.

Journal of Asian Studies, November, 2000, JaHyun Kim Haboush, review of My Very Last Possession and Other Stories, p. 1055.

New York Times Book Review, October 10, 1999, Janice P. Nimura, review of My Very Last Possession and Other Stories, p. 23.

Publishers Weekly, June 21, 1999, Sybil S. Steinberg, review of My Very Last Possession and Other Stories, p. 56.

World Literature Today, summer, 1996, Yearn Hong Choi, review of The Naked Tree, p. 764; autumn, 2000, Bonnie R. Crown, review of A Sketch of the Fading Sun, p. 810; winter, 2000, Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr., review of My Very Last Possession and Other Stories, p. 244.