The Trial of Pak Tal and Other Stories: Korean Diaspora Literature
- About the Book
Kim Tal-su (1920–1997) was one of the first and leading writers of the Korean Diaspora in 20th-century Japan. The stories in this collection include the critically acclaimed novella “The Trial of Pak Tal” and cover a range of periods and topics like the struggles of Koreans in wartime Japan, the Korean War and its aftermath, and the layers of Japanese and Korean history on the island of Tsushima. Full of the writer’s unique blend of humor and pathos, these stories offer a moving and multifaceted look at how Koreans fought to find their voice and identity in Japanese culture and society. Other titles included are Kindred Spirits, All the Way to Tsushima, and One’s Place
- About the Author(s)
Tal-su Kim, Author
Tal-su Kim is a leading Zainichi (ethnic Korean residing in Japan) writer whose fiction charted the inner lives of Koreans during and after the Japanese occupation. Kim was born in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, in 1920 and immigrated to Japan at age 10 along with family. He attended elementary school there but dropped out after being bullied by his Japanese classmates. Undaunted, he began learning Japanese and reading Japanese literature while performing menial jobs like factory worker, public bath attendant, and garbage collector. After graduating from Nihon University College of Art, he began working in 1943 as a reporter for the daily Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijō Nippō) in Seoul.
In 1947, Kim published his first novel Kōei no machi (City of Descendants). His works were hailed for eloquently and evocatively capturing the dilemmas faced by Koreans under Japanese colonial rule and the subsequent sorrow and resentment felt by his compatriots. His other major works include the novel Genkai nada (The Genkai Sea, 1953), the novella “The Trial of Pak Tal” (1958), and the 12-volume Nihon no naka no Chōsen bunka (Korean Culture in Japan, 1970–1991), which focuses on ancient relations between Korea and Japan.
Christopher D. Scott, Translator