SHRAPNEL by Dong-ha Lee


and Other Stories
by & translated by
Email this review


The destructive impact of the Korean War on successive generations is vividly explored in five nicely varied stories by a seasoned Korean writer whom American readers will want to know more about. Lee’s subdued yet fascinating characters include adolescents at play who come across the body of a bull killed by stray military gunfire (“The Blazing Sun”); a bereaved nephew whose recall of his late uncle’s troubled life evokes a tangled family history of conflicting loyalties and carefully kept secrets (“Shrapnel”); and a politically suspect older man who leaves all he owns to the only creature that refuses to judge and shun him: his faithful dog (“Perspiration”). Even better is “Dark Valley,” the atmospheric tale of a middle-aged widower’s frustrated relationship with a phlegmatic woman who keeps inexplicably disappearing and returning (and who appears to be a symbolic embodiment of displacement, bereavement, and despair). Stark, challenging, memorable: the work of a superb literary talent.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-893996-53-0
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: White Pine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2002


IndieTHE NORTHERN WIND by Therese Park
by Therese Park
IndieTOIL UNDER THE SUN by R. Phillip Ritter
by R. Phillip Ritter