From one of South Korea's foremost writers, an examination of the darker side of modernisation through the micro-society of a rubbish dump and a haunting reminder to us all to be careful of what we throw away.
...a powerful and potentially contentious reminder of the difficult backstory to South Korean success ... Familiar Things resonates with today’s political moment even though it is set in the early 1980s ... Hwang has wrestled with the challenge of North Korea as both a novelist and a progressive activist.
...one of South Korea’s most venerated novelists urgently examines the darker side of modernisation through the micro-society of a rubbish dump ... The novel’s most impassioned passages depict garbage as a social phenomenon, the visible evidence of capitalism ... Familiar Things is not particularly notable for vividly rendered detail, singular language or voice. But the measure of a novel is not only its artful telling, but also the power and value of the story being told.
Galvanized by Nobel Prize–winner Kenzaburo Oe’s resounding endorsement—“undoubtedly the most powerful voice in Asia today”—and master translator Sora Kim-Russell’s exquisite rendition, Hwang’s latest import is surely poised for Western success.