Hwang’s story belongs on a bookshelf somewhere between the Charlotte’s Web and Animal Farm, says Dmitri Nasrallah in The Toronto Star
English translations of South Korean literature are generally rare, given the vast difference between the two languages and the cultural connotations that must be overcome for fictional tapestries to be understood in all their depths. Sun-mi Hwang’s 2000 novella, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, has finally made it to North American readers after some 13 years — in part because it lacks any of the overt national signifiers that would otherwise complicate its understanding. Read more
Sun-Mi-Hwang is a celebrated writer in South Korea, where she has published more than twenty books and won many awards. Her book, The Hen Who Dreamed she Could Fly, is coming out in translation in November this year.
This was a million copy plus Korean Classic bestseller.
According to the publishers of this book (Penguin Viking), this small book contains so much. Despair, fear, hope, doubt, joy, purpose, oppression, redemption, fulfillment, compassion and ultimately, freedom. The little hen exhibits a courage far greater than her stature would suppose and her accomplishment is greater still. At times heartbreaking, at others uplifting, always staying close to the edge of emotion, this profoundly simple and yet meaningful work can be enjoyed by any person who can read. In my opinion it could be given joyfully and sincerely to anyone without reservation. There are many lessons that can be learned and matters to be considered within this short work, rendering it, as the hen, greater than the sum of its parts.