Hyun Ki-young is a little-known Korean author, but with luck that is about to change. He’s been published once before, a book named Aunt Suni that is in contention for the worst translation from Korean to English in the last decade. Luckily, among the 15 books that Asia Publishers are putting out in bilingual form, although it’s name is NOT Aunt Suni, it is Sun-i Samch’on, which actually translates to “Uncle Suni,” which confuses me a bit.
Anyway, with Hyun’s increasing profile, I thought it was time to put him on the Wikipedia, and so here he is, and it looks a bit like this:
|Born||January 16, 1941|
Hyun, Ki-young was born on Jeju Island in 1941 and graduated from Seoul National University. He has served as the Managing Director of the National Literary Writers Association (2000-1) and as the President of the Korean Arts & Culture Foundation (2003). . Hyun was also the director of the Committee for the Investigation of the April 3rd Jeju Uprising as well as the President of the Jeju Institute for the Investigation of Social Problems.
Hyun is best known in English for his story Aunt Suni, which was released 2010 and panned for its poor translation. The story has since been retranslated as “Sun-I Samch’on” in a bilingual (English and Korean) volume. The story was the first ever written about the Jeju massacre, and shortly after it was released in 1978 in a collection of stories, Hyun was arrested and tortured for three days. The government claimed that this was because he had been at a protest, but as he was released he was warned against ever writing about the massacre again, which made the real reason for his arrest apparent.
Hyun is extremely well known in Korea having won the 5th Sin Dong-yeop Creative Works prize in 1986, the Manhae Prize in 1990, and the Oh Yeong-su Literary Prize in 1994,  as well as the 1999 Hankook Ilbo Literature Prize.
Partial list of Korean publications
A Crying Bird on the Border (1983)
Windy Island (1989)
The Last Horse Herder (1994)
A Spoon on the Earth (1999)
List of English publications
Aunt Suni (2010)
Sun-i Samch’on (2012)
- ^ Aunt Suni, p. 6-7
- ^ 현기영 Hyun, Ki-young, Changbi Publishers. (Changbi has destroyed this link)
- ^ Hatred, Rage, and Aunt Suni, Korean Translated Literature, 6/21/09,http://www.ktlit.com/uncategorized/hatred-rage-and-aunt-suni
- ^ ‘Sun-i Samch’on’ revisited for the first time, Jeju Weekly, Thursday, October 25, 2012, 14:42:12,http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=2813
- ^ Aunt Suni, p. 6
- ^ 현기영 Hyun, Ki-young, Changbi Publishers.