Shin Kyung-sook

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Kyung-sook Shin
Kyung-sook Shin
Kyung-sook Shin
Born (1963-01-12) 12 January 1963 (age 56)
Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province, South Korea
OccupationNovelist, writer
NationalitySouth Korean
Period1985 -
Notable worksPlease Look After Mom(2009)
Notable awardsYi Sang Literary Award
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSin Gyeongsuk
McCune–ReischauerSin Kyŏngsuk

Kyung-sook Shin (This is the author's preferred Romanization per LTI Korea[1]) born 12 January 1963 is a South Korean writer.[2] She is the first South Korean and first woman to win the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012 for Please Look After Mom.[3]


Shin was born in 1963 in a village near Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province in southern South Korea. She was the fourth child and oldest daughter of six. At sixteen she moved to Seoul, where her older brother lived. She worked in an electronics plant while attending night school.[4] 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 South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hankook Ilbo Literature Prize, Hyundae Literature Award, Manhae Literature Prize, Dong-in Literary Award, Yi Sang Literary Award, and the Oh Young-su 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.[5] 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 [6] and has been translated into English by Chi-young Kim and released on March 31, 2011.[7] She won the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize for Please Look After Mom, she was the first woman to win that award.[8]


On June 16, 2015, The Huffington Post Korea reported that Shin plagiarized Yukio Mishima's passage from Patriotism in her book Legend.[9] Shin apologised, and her publisher said it would pull a collection of her short stories off the shelves.[10]


  • I'll Be Right There (2010)[11]
  • Please Look After Mom (2009)
Kyung-sook Shin talks about the book on Bookbits radio.
  • 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 South 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 South Korea’s dramatic shift from a pre-modern to post-modern society, and in the course has restored a place for motherhood in the South Korean psyche. Foreign rights to Please Look After Mom were sold in 19 countries.
  • Yi Jin (2007)
  • Violet (2001)
  • The Train Departs at Seven (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 it was translated into English with funding from the American PEN Center. In 2009 the book was awarded the Prix de l’Inapercu in France.
  • Deep Sorrow (1994)

Shin’s first novel 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[edit]

  • Thr Girl Who Wrote Loneliness (Pegasus Books, 2015)
  • I'll Be Right There (Other Press, 2014)[12]
  • The Place Where the Harmonium Once Was ASIA Publishers, 2012
  • Please Look After Mom (Vintage; Reprint edition, 2012)[13]
  • 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;

Works in Korean (partial)[edit]

  • Winter Fable ("겨울 우화"/"Gyeoul Uhwa 1990)
  • Deep Sorrow ("깊은 슬픔"/"Gipeun seulpeum" 1994)
  • A Lone Room (Oettanbang 1995)
  • Long Ago, When I left my Home ("오래전 집을 떠날때"/"Oraejeon jib-eul tteonal ttae" 1996)
  • The Train Departs at 7 ("기차는 7시에 떠나네"/"Gicha-neun 7si-e tteonane" 1999)
  • Violet 2001
  • J's Story ("J 이야기"/"J iyagi" 2002)
  • Lee Jin ("리진"/"Ri Jin" 2007)
  • Please Look After Mom ("엄마를 부탁해"/"Eomma-reul butakhae" 2009)
  • I'll Be Right There ("어디선가 나를 찾는 전화벨이 울리고"/"Eodiseonga na-reul chat-neun jeonhwabel-i ulli-go" 2010)
  • The Unknown Women ("모르는 여인들"/"Moreu-neun yeoindeul" 2011)
  • Stories I wish to tell the Moon ("달에게 들려주고싶은 이야기"/"Dal-ege deullyeoju-go sip-eun iyagi" 2013)
Short stories
  • Where the Harmonium Once Stood ("풍금이 있던 자리"/"Punggeum-i issdeon jari" 1993)
  • Potato Eaters ("감자 먹는 사람들"/"Gamja meok-neun saramdeul" 1997)
  • Until It Turns into River ("강물이 될때까지"/"Gangmul-i doel ttaekkaji" 1998)
  • Strawberry Fields ("딸기밭"/"Ttalgibat" 2000)
  • The Sound of Bells ("종소리"/"Jongsori" 2003)
  • Beautiful Shade ("아름다운 그늘"/"Areumdaun geuneul" 1995)
  • Sleep, Sorrow 2003


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Author Database". LTI Korea. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  2. ^ "신경숙" biographical PDF available at LTI Korea Library or online at: Archived 2013-09-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Shin Kyung-sook the First Korean to Win Man Asian Prize" Chosun Ilbo. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-16
  4. ^ "Kyung-Sook Shin: 'In my 20s I lived through an era of terrible political events and suspicious deaths'". The Guardian. 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
  5. ^ KLTI: Kyung-sook Shin Author Brochure
  6. ^
  7. ^ Rao, Mythili G. "A Woman Goes Missing in Seoul" New York Times. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-16
  8. ^ "South Korean novelist announced as first woman to win Man Asian Literary Prize" Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine, Man Asian Prize website, Mar. 15, 2012.
  9. ^ 우상의 어둠, 문학의 타락 : 신경숙의 미시마 유키오 표절 [Darkness of idol, corruption of literature: Shin Kyung-sook plagiarized Yukio Mishima] (in Korean). The Huffington Post Korea. June 16, 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Kyung-sook Shin: An Introduction Imprima Agency, Seoul
  12. ^ Amazon,
  13. ^

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