Hwang Sun-mi

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Hwang Sun-mi
Hwang in 2011
Hwang in 2011
Born1963 (age 55–56)
Hongseong-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea[1]
NationalitySouth Korea
GenreKorean fiction
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHwang Seon-mi
McCune–ReischauerHwang Sŏnmi

Hwang Sun-mi (born 1963) is a South Korean author and professor who is best known for her fable The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, which has also been made into a successful animated film in South Korea, Leafie, A Hen into the Wild.[3]


Born in 1963 as the second of five children, Hwang was unable to attend middle school due to poverty, but thanks to a teacher who gave her a key to a classroom, she could go to the school and read books whenever she wanted. She enrolled in high school by taking a certificate examination and she graduated from the creative writing departments at Seoul Institute of the Arts and Gwangju University, and from graduate school at Chung-Ang University. She lives in Seoul, South Korea.[4][5]

Hwang is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Literature in the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Hwang's career as a writer began in 1995, and since then she has published nearly 30 books over various genres.[3] She is most famous for her work The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, which was also made into a movie that broke Korean box office records for animated films, earning nearly 7 billion won in its first month of release.[6]


Upon its publication in 2000, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly became an instant classic, remaining on bestseller lists for ten years, selling over 2 million copies, and inspiring the highest-grossing animated film in Korean history. It has also been adapted into a comic book, a play, and a musical, and has been translated into 27 languages.[4][5] The author said in an interview that she had based her book around her farmer father's sad and struggling life.[5]

Hwang's work addresses the intersections between tradition and modernity, ecology, and the search for freedom. She is most known for her fantasy work and has won the SBS Media Literary Award (2001) and the 36th Sejong Children's Literature Prize (2003).[3]


  • Nong-min Literary Award (1995)
  • Tamla Literary Award (1997)
  • SBS Media Literary Award (2001)
  • Sejong Children's Literature Prize (2003)[7]
  • The Best Book of the Year in Poland (2012)

Works in Translation[edit]

  • The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly: A Novel, translated by Chi-Young Kim (Penguin Books, 2013)[8][9]
  • The Dog Who Dared To Dream, translated by Chi-Young Kim (Abacus, 2016)[10]

Works in Korean (partial)[edit]

  • The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly (마당을 나온 암탉). Paju: Sakyejul, 2000. OCLC 229245216.
  • Into the Orchard (과수원을 점령하라). Paju: Sakyejul, 2003. OCLC 53187226.
  • Friends in Sun-rising Valley (2002, Sakyejul)
  • The Bad Boy Stickers (나쁜 어린이 표). Woongjin Junior, 1999. OCLC 259422052. Rights sold to Germany, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
  • Invited Friends (2001, Woongjing Junior, Rights sold to Taiwan and Indonesia)
  • The Secret I’m Proud of (2001, ChangBi)
  • The Day of Hiding My Diary (2003, Woongjin Junior)
  • The Blue Hairy Dog (2005)
  • The Joy of Writing Children's Books (2006, Sakyejul): a book of theories on children’s book writing
  • The Beanpole House Where Wind Stays (2010)

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 황선미 … 어른도 그의 동화를 읽는다. JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). 2011-04-28. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  2. ^ Hwang Sun-mi [黃善美]; Lin Ching [林静, translator] (2008). 《追風啃書蟲》 (in Chinese). 新苗文化事業有限公司. ISBN 9574513726.
  3. ^ a b c "Sun-mi Hwang". International Board for Books on Young People. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b Hwang, Sun-mi (2013). The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-312320-0.
  5. ^ a b c "Korean fable captures hearts of readers around the world". Korea Times. 2015-10-26. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  6. ^ Woo, Jaeyeon (12 August 2011). "Leafie the Hen captures Korean moviegoers". Wall Street Journal Korea Real Time Blog. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  7. ^ Lee, Ji-young (Spring 2009). "'Children's Books Should Provide Comfort and Hope': Hwang Seon-mi, Children's Book Writer". List Magazine (3). Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  8. ^ Penguin Books, http://www.penguin.com/book/the-hen-who-dreamed-she-could-fly-by-sun-mi-hwang/9780143123200
  9. ^ "황선미 '마당을 나온 암탉' 영국 베스트셀러 1위, No.1 Best seller in England". 한겨레(The Hankyoreh). 2014-04-04.
  10. ^ Little, Brown, https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9780349142098