Ha Seong-ran

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Ha Seong-nan
Born (1967-06-28) June 28, 1967 (age 50)
Language Korean
Nationality South Korean
Citizenship South Korean
Korean name
Hangul 하성란
Hanja 河成蘭

Ha Seong-nan (born 1967) (Hangul: 하성란), is a South Korean writer.[1]


Ha was born in Seoul and studied creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Ha was the oldest of three children and this position resulted in her often taking on the role of a son.[2] Ha wrote through elementary and middle school, with limited success, but began writing short stories in high-school and winning school prizes for them. After graduating from high school Ha worked in a wood-importing firm and entered the Department of Creative Writing at the Seoul Institute of Arts in 1990. After graduation she worked for Moonji Publishing.[2]

During all this time Ha had been writing and she debuted in 1996 with her short story "Grass." She won the prestigious Dong-in Literary Award with her short story "Blooms of Mold,"[3] as well as the Hyeondae Literary Award for her story "Alpha's Time." She has also received the Yisu Literary Award the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award, and the Dongin Literary Award.[4]

In 2007, Ha had her second child, a son, and she currently lives in Mapo, Seoul.[2]


The Literature Translation Institute of Korea sums Ha's work up:

Ha Seong-ran (1967~ ) is known for what the critics have termed “microscopic depiction.” Her early works, in particular, provide superb examples of her ability to use words to paint a meticulously detailed and finely nuanced picture of ordinary people and events without being verbose or sentimental. Beyond mere descriptive prowess, however, Ha’s works exhibit the author’s thorough understanding of her subject matter as well as the care with which she examines seemingly mundane and trivial events. Often, she does not rely on direct description of outward appearances or personality traits to visualize a character, but instead weaves a complex picture of memory, expressions, landscapes and surrounding objects that bring a character to life. “Flowers of Mold” features a man who searches through garbage for truth. Each bag of garbage bears a particular signature of the household that produced it, the man believes, but even after examining hundreds of garbage bags, he fails to establish a meaningful relationship with another human being.[5]
In recent years, Ha has shown greater interest in social issues. The First Wife of Blue Beard is a collection of short stories each revolving around a tragic, but familiar incident that could easily appear on the pages of a local newspaper. In the title story modeled after Perrault’s Le Barbe Bleue, a woman who marries a Korean living in New Zealand learns about her husband’s homosexuality; “Paris” portrays a small town policeman’s descent into madness. In Ha’s fiction, such incidents as murder, fire, and robbery are treated without sensationalism: she uses those life-shattering moments in life to underscore fragility of happiness as well as the sense of emptiness that lies at the core of existence.[5]

Works in Translation[edit]

Works in Korean (partial)[edit]

Short Story Collections

  • A Woman Next Door (1999)(옆집 여자)
  • Bluebeard's First Wife (2002) (푸른 수염의 첫 번째 아내)
  • Wafer (2006)

Novels The Joy of Meals (1998)(식사의 즐거움)

  • Sapporo Inn (2000)(삿뽀로 여임숙)
  • A (2010)
  • Fox Girl


External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Ha Seong-nan" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: http://klti.or.kr/ke_04_03_011.do# Archived 2013-09-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c Ha Seong-nan (1996). "About the Author". Traversing Afternoon. Seoul: Asia Publishers. pp. 105–108. ISBN 978-8994006-96-3. 
  3. ^ http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/azalea/summary/v001/1.ha.html
  4. ^ "Naver Search". naver.com. Naver. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Source-attribution|"Ha Seong-nan" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: http://klti.or.kr/ke_04_03_011.do# Archived 2013-09-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ http://www.ktlit.com/korean-literature/review-of-the-groundbreaking-new-short-fiction-collection-waxen-wings-the-acta-korean-anthology-of-short-fiction-from-korea