Shin Kyung-sook in 2012
|Born||12 January 1963|
Shin Kyung-sook was born in 1963 in a village near Jeongeup in Jeolla Province in southern Korea. She was the fourth child and oldest daughter of six. Her parents were farmers who could not afford to send her to high school, so at sixteen she moved to Seoul, where her older brother lived. She worked in an electronics plant while attending night school. She made her literary debut in 1985 with the novella Winter’s Fable after graduating from the Seoul Institute of the Arts as a creative writing major. Shin is, along with Kim In-suk and Gong Ji-young, one of the group of female writers from the so-called 386 Generation.
She won the Munye Joongang New Author Prize for her novella, Winter Fables.
Shin has won a wide variety of literary prizes including the Today’s Young Artist Award from the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hankook Ilbo Literature Prize, Hyundae Literary Award, Manhae Literature Prize, Dong-in Literary Award, Yi Sang Literary Award, and the Oh Yeongsu Literature Prize. In 2009, the French translation of her work, A Lone Room (La Chambre Solitaire) was one of the winners of the Prix de l'Inapercu, which recognizes excellent literary works which have not yet reached a wide audience. The international rights to the million-copy bestseller Please Look After Mom were sold in 19 countries including the United States and various countries in Europe and Asia, beginning with China  and has been translated into English by Kim Chi-young and released on March 31, 2011. She won the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize for Please Look After Mom, she was the first woman to win that award.
From Somewhere Afar the Phone Keeps Ringing for Me (2010)
Please Look After Mom (2009)
Please Look After Mom is the story of a missing mother and her family, told from the shifting points of view of each of the family members. With this book, Shin reclaimed her place as one of Korea’s most prominent writers, achieving both critical acclaim and commercial success. The novel tracks down the mother’s life of self-sacrifice, which coincided with Korea’s dramatic shift from a pre-modern to post-modern society, and in the course has restored a place for motherhood in the Korean psyche. Foreign rights to Please Look After Mom were sold in 19 countries.
Yi Jin (2007)
The Train Departs at 7 (1999)
A Lone Room (1995)Shin was awarded the Manhae Literary Prize for the book in 1996. A Lone Room has been translated and published in France, Germany, Japan and China, and is was translated into English with funding from the American PEN Center. In 2009 the book was awarded the Prix de l’Inaperçu in France.
Deep Sorrow (1994) Shin Kyung-sook’s first novel Deep Sorrow is a tale of unrequited love between three childhood friends—Eun-seo, Wan and Se—whose lives continue to intercept as they face new challenges in the unfamiliar terrain of adulthood. As the three friends move on from their utopian rural hometown to the big, brutal cities, their hopes and disappointments collide, bringing them together or sometimes pushing them apart. The rapture of love offers shelter, but never for long, for love cannot be shared equally amongst the three of them.
Works in Translation
- Please Look After Mom
- A Lone Room
- The Strawberry Field
- A Lone Room: Published in Germany by Pendragon in 2001; in Japan by Shuei-sha in 2005; in China by China People’s Literature Press in 2006; in France by Philippe Picquier in 2008, recipient of the 2009 Prix de l’Inaperu; an excerpt published in the US in The Literary Review in 2007, recipient of the 2007 PEN Translation Fund Grant from PEN American Center;
- The Sound of Bells: Published in China by Hwasung Press in 2004
- The Strawberry Field: Published in China by Hwasung Press in 2005
- Yi Jin: Published in France by Philippe Picquier in 2010
Short stories published in France, Japan, Mongolia and the U.S. Publications in English include The Blind Calf, in The Harvard Review, Fall 2002; The Strawberry Field in Azalea, 2008; and Where the Harmonium Once Stood, forthcoming in the KLTI Anthology of Modern Korean Literature from Columbia University Press in 2011.
Works in Korean (partial)
- Deep Sorrow 1994
- A Lone Room 1995
- The Train Departs at 7 1999
- Violet 2001
- Yi Jin 2007
- Please Look After Mom 2009
- From Somewhere Afar the Phone Keeps Ringing for Me 2010
- Short stories
- Until It Turns into River 1990
- Where the Harmonium Once Stood 1992
- Potato Eaters 1997
- Strawberry Fields 2000
- The Sound of Bells 2003
- Beautiful Shade 1995
- Sleep, Sorrow 2003
- Hyundae Literary Award
- Dong In Literary Award
- Manhae Award for Literature
- YiSang Literary Award.
- "신경숙" biographical PDF available at LTI Korea Library or online at: http://klti.or.kr/ke_04_03_011.do#
- "Shin Kyung-sook the First Korean to Win Man Asian Literary Prize" Chosun Ilbo. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-16
- Random House Author Spotlight: http://www.randomhouse.ca/author/results.pperl?authorid=119846
- KLTI: Shin Kyung-sook Author Brochure
- Rao, Mythili G. "A Woman Goes Missing in Seoul" New York Tines. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-16
- "South Korean novelist announced as first woman to win Man Asian Literary Prize", Man Asian Prize website, Mar. 15, 2012.
- SHIN KYUNG-SOOK: An Introduction Imprima Agency, Seoul