The wonderfully warped world of Bora Chung's fiction ... There is always an ugly, further cost to settling old scores ... Chung has assembled a marvelous tasting platter of genres: classic ghost stories, fairy tales, mythic fantasy, science fiction, dark fables, the surreal and unclassifiable horror-adjacent ... Anton Hur’s nimble translation manages to capture the tricky magic of Chung’s voice — its wry humor and overarching coolness broken by sudden, thrilling dips into passages of vivid description. Even as Chung presents a catalog of grotesqueries that range from unsettling to seared-into-the-brain disturbing, her power is in restraint. She and Hur always keep the reader at a slight distance in order for the more chilling twists to land with maximum impact, allowing us to walk ourselves into the trap.
In a mix of 10 horrifying and funny stories, some contemporary and some more archetypal, she explores human suffering and societal problems such as patriarchy and unregulated capitalism ... The strange and everyday are melded in these startling and original tales.
The monsters in Bora Chung’s story collection, Cursed Bunny, translated by Anton Hur, are sometimes less obvious, but not less terrifying. The stories defy conventional categorization ... The previous stories are equally filled with horrors and then, at last, this final story comes along presenting a relative calm. But this calm is all a facade covering up great trauma. Cursed Bunny delivers strange and bizarre fables and, through these often grotesque fairy tales, articulates a clear critique of humanity. These are not childhood bedtime stories, but morality tales; sinners are punished. It is a collection that reminds us there are monsters everywhere, even in plain sight, even if we can’t see them.