June 7, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Gong Ji-Young: ‘Being near death motivates life’

1 min read

The South Korean novelist on her visits to death row, exposing sex offenders, and the dread march of materialism: The Guardian

Gong Ji Young

Photograph: Dahuim Paik (The Guardian)

In South Korea, Gong Ji-Young is a bestselling novelist. Her hallmark is her moral acuity, her desire to make the world a better place. In a recent poll of female Korean university students, she was voted their most popular role model (beating, to her amazement, showbiz celebrities). Her fiction is opinion-forming. One of her books even changed Korean legislation (see below). Her thriller Our Happy Time – so far, her only book published in the UK in a satisfactory translation – is an astonishing read about the relationship between a suicidal woman from a privileged background and a man on death row.

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