본문 바로가기
  • Home

English Literature as a Tool for Understanding Korean Local Culture and Contemporary History An Analysis of North American Readers’ Review of The Island of Sea Women

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2022, 79(3), pp.297-325
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.79.3.202208.297
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : July 11, 2022
  • Accepted : August 9, 2022
  • Published : August 31, 2022

HEEYOUNG CHOI 1

1Northern Illinois University

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the response of North American readers of The Island of Sea Women: A Novel, written by the New York Times best-selling author Lisa See in 2019. The Island of Sea Women is about female friendship and devastating family secrets of two women named Young-sook and Mi-ja on the Jeju Island, located southwest of the Korean Peninsula. The historical novel covers the period from 1938, when Japan occupied Korea, to 2008, when Jeju 4 · 3 Peace Park was established. The third chapter, describing the chronological sequence of events related with the Jeju 4 · 3 Incident, reveals how one’s personal life was affected by power and violence of the state. The Island of Sea Women is in line with 4 · 3 literature, which has been in the spotlight recently in the Korean literary world; however, it differs from other examples in that the author is neither Korean nor a person of Korean descent. This study, focusing on the fact that its targeted audiences are also North Americans, investigates 12 book club discussions to identify the effectiveness of English literature in promoting the public interest in Korean local culture and Korean contemporary history such as the Jeju 4 · 3 Incident

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.