Tag Archives: bestselling novelist

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

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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Book review: “Decoded” by Mai Jia (Trs by Olivia Milburn)

DecodedDecoded is the first opportunity for English readers to experience the work of Mai Jia, a bestselling novelist in his native China where he is also known through television and film adaptations of his books. Described as a forerunner of Chinese espionage fiction, Mai Jia apparently draws from his experiences rubbing shoulders with cryptologists and spies during a 17-year stint in the People’s Liberation Army intelligence unit. He also worked as a military propagandist before devoting himself to more transparent fiction.

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