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The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness
The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness | Kyung-Sook Shin
10 posts | 7 read | 11 to read
Homesick and alone, a teen-aged girl has just arrived in Seoul to work in a factory. Her family, still in the countryside, is too impoverished to keep sending her to school, so she works long, sun-less days on a stereo-assembly line, struggling through night school every evening in order to achieve her dream of becoming a writer. Korea s brightest literary star sets this complex and nuanced coming-of-age story against the backdrop of Korea s industrial sweatshops of the 1970 s and takes on the extreme exploitation, oppression, and urbanization that helped catapult Korea s economy out of the ashes of war. But it was girls like Shin s heroine who formed the bottom of Seoul s rapidly changing social hierarchy, forgotten and ignored. Richly autobiographical, The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness lays bare the conflict and confusion Shin faces as she confronts her past and the sweeping social change of the past half-century. Cited in Korea as one of the most important literary novels of the decade, this novel cements Shin s legacy as one of the most insightful and exciting writers of her generation."
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merelybookish
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Pickpick

An unnamed narrator in her 30s, a writer, reflects on her teen years working at a factory in Seoul while attending high school in the evenings. It's a painful period in her life, full of poverty, broken relationships, isolation, fear, and political turmoil. It's the dream of becoming a writer that helps her survive. Now, after years of suppressing this traumatic time in her life, she decides to write about it, but the process is painful. 👇

merelybookish The novel flips back and forth, between the writing of the book and the past she is re-creating. It was powerful to see what she endured and how it shaped her. Also the difficulty and perhaps catharsis in making it public. This is my first novel by a South Korean. There was so much I didn't know about the politics. It was a good story and I feel I learned a lot about another country, which is why reading books in translation is so worthwhile! 3mo
merelybookish Picture from the NY Times. I don't know if this is an autobiographical novel but the writer Kyung-Sook Shin did work at a factory and attended a high school for industrial workers for a while. 3mo
mhillis Great review! I didn‘t know much about the Gwangju Uprising so I found myself looking that up towards the end of the book. I‘m glad I read this too. 3mo
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mhillis
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I‘m so glad that one of the hosts for the Women in Translation readathon recommended The Girl Who Wrote Lonliness. Although I read Please Look After Mom, I hadn‘t heard of this book. The factories and schools, heartbreaking relationships, a blend of past and present, Korean history, a family, and what it means to be a writer.
#witreadathon #womenintranslation #wit #korea

merelybookish I really liked it too! And am glad I read it! It was so layered, especially seeing how that period was still affecting her life 20 years later. 3mo
merelybookish *I will admit I found it a bit long. 3mo
mhillis @merelybookish The chapters were very long! 3mo
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mhillis
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1. The Girl Who Wrote Lonliness
2. Not a long weekend, but I plan to study, exercise, and finish up my books for Women in Translation readathon!
3. I love all ice cream, but especially those with cheesecake chunks 😋
4. Flute! And this year I started teaching myself ocarina!
5. Ok 🥳 #friyayintro

AmyK1 My son has an ocarina and can play a little bit on it 👍🏼 3mo
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merelybookish
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Another book to meet a Women in Translation Readathon prompt. This one is from South Korea. Took me a bit to adjust to the style but I'm into it now. About a teenage industrial worker who dreams of becoming a writer.
#witreadathon #hoopla

Cathythoughts Brilliant & beautiful title ... look forward to your review 4mo
mhillis I‘m going to start this today! 4mo
merelybookish @Cathythoughts Agreed, it is a great title! 4mo
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merelybookish @mhillis Oh good. We can discuss! 4mo
mhillis @merelybookish Yes let‘s do that!! 😌 4mo
merelybookish @mhillis Are you reading or listening to it? 4mo
mhillis @merelybookish Reading! The library didn‘t have it at all so I bought the ebook 4mo
merelybookish @mhillis I'm finding the audio a bit confusing, some leaps in time, that I expect would be easier to follow in print. 4mo
mhillis “At last, my sentences begin to take shape. Short, very simple. The past in present tense; the present in past tense. Clear like a photograph.” @merelybookish 4mo
mhillis I‘m about a quarter of the way into the book and so far it‘s really interesting. I should be able to make some more progress today! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! 4mo
merelybookish @mhillis I'm almost done! I have about 30 mins left in the audiobook. 3mo
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rmaclean4
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@bromeliad I just picked this up from the library for Women in Translation Month. Have you read this author? Her novel Please Look After Mom is one of my all time favorites. The Court Dancer is also good but more straight forward. Hope to get the tagged book started this weekend.

a.bookish.byrd I, too, really liked Please Look after Mom. I‘ll be waiting to see how you like this one. I haven‘t read anything else by this author, though. 4mo
bromeliad Heard of her, but haven't read her yet! I'm excited to see what you think! 4mo
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Amy_Yuki_Vickers
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Pickpick

I love that this book is about writing to understand oneself. I really relate to the narrator asking herself why she writes what she does, as well as her questions over what she should omit and include in her written personal history.

To read full review: http://www.amyyuki.com/books/2018/01/24/the-girl-who-wrote-loneliness-by-kyung-s...

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BookishShelly
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feminismandyoga
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This was my second favorite book of #WITMonth. Its beautiful and haunting. Also, it has an #orangecover for #photoadaynov16!

Seriously, check it out if you like women in translation or #diversebooks.

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obviateit
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#septphotochallenge #day17 #womenwriters
A few favorites, and a few on my #tbr ... all amazing, strong humans.

❤️💪🏻💪🏼💪🏿💪🏾💪🏽❤️

BookishFeminist ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3y
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prowlix
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My pick for #underhyped books! This memoir recounts the author's teenage years in 70s & 80s in South Korea struggling to overcome poverty. It's a coming of age for both the author and the country. It's beautifully written tho a bit bleak a times. Highly recommended for anyone interested in Korean history or Asian fiction. #memoirs #translatedbooks #readwomen

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