Choe Yun

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Ch'oe Hyon-mu
Born (1953-07-03) July 3, 1953 (age 63)
Pen name Ch'oe Yun
Occupation Novelist
Nationality South Korea
Period 1953-present
This is a Korean name; the family name is Choe.
Choe Yun
Hangul 최윤
Hanja 崔允
Revised Romanization Choe Yun
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Yun

Ch'oe Hyon-mu (born 1953), better known by her pen name Ch'oe Yun (This is the author's preferred Romanization per LTI Korea[1]) is a South Korean writer and professor of French literature.[2]


Ch'oe was born in Seoul in 1953 and received her Ph. D from Sogang University.[3] In 1978, Ch’oe graduated from Sogang University and went to France, where she received the doctorate de 3ème Cycle de l'Université de Provence D.E.A. in Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles.[4] She made her literary debut at the relatively late age of 40, with There a Petal Silently Falls. After that debut Ch'oe was quickly recognized as one of the most important authors in modern Korea.


Her writing merges the psychological impact of political/historical events, including the Kwangju massacre (1980) and the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee (1961–1979), with sophisticated fictional techniques.[5]

Ch'oe's works are varied, but typically founded in particular political contexts. The Gray Snowman is told by a young woman on the edges of the 1980s’ dissident movement, and Father’s Surveillance and A Voiceless Window show the pain of families split by the Korean War and the sundering of the nation. Ch'oe, however, keeps her lens firmly fixed on the interior lives of her characters, even as they are stuck in the larger web of history. Ch'oe's narrative style, following the twisted inner world of her characters, is often non-realist. Ch'oe frequently uses memory as one of her themes, but refuses to indulge in appeals to cheap sentiment.[6]

Many of her works, including There a Petal Silently Falls (1988), Gray Snowman (1991), and Whispers (1993), are semi-autobiographical depictions of the events surrounding the Kwangju Uprising.[7] Her 1994 work The Last of Hanako won the Yi Sang Literary Award.

Ch'oe's work is elegant and emotional, and typically addresses the psychological damage created in post-World War II (and particularly post-Korean War) Korea. Ch'oe is notable as one of the first novelists to focus on the impact gender roles have had in modern Korean literature.[8]


Works in translation[edit]

  • There a Petal Silently Falls: Three Stories by Ch'oe Yun, Columbia University Press (May 31, 2008). ISBN 0-231-14296-X
  • Including: There a Petal Silently Falls, Whisper Yet, The Thirteen-Scent Flower
  • The Last of Hanako, Jimoondang Publishing (January 1, 2003).
  • Including: The Last of Hanako, The Grey Snowman
  • His Father's Keeper in Korea Journal, Vol.32 No.2 Summer 1992 pp. 117~134
  • Maniquí (Spanish), 마네킹
  • Lautlos fällt eine Blüte (German), 최윤 소설선

Works in Korean[edit]

  • You are No Longer (1991)
  • Whisper, Whisper (1991)
  • There a Petal Falls in Silence (1992)(저기 소리 없이 한 점 꽃잎이 지고)
  • Winter, Atlantis (1997)
  • Mannequin (2003)


  1. ^ "Author Database". LTI Korea. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "최윤" biographical PDF available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  3. ^ Korea Journal Vol.32 No.2 Summer 1992, pp.117
  4. ^ Asian Studies in Business and Economics
  5. ^ Inevitable Dissident From "PRI's The world," June 10, 2008
  6. ^ KLTI, Author App
  7. ^ A History of Korean Literature. Peter H. Lee, ed. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, England. 2003. pp 494.
  8. ^

External links[edit]