Shin Kyung-sook Publishes 1st Novel in 4 Years After Plagiarism Scandal

  • By Baik Su-jin

    May 24, 2019 11:01

    Novelist Shin Kyung-sook has released a new work following a hiatus of four years due to a plagiarism scandal.

    She published a medium-length novel in the summer issue of literary magazine "Quarterly Changbi" on Thursday.

    In 2015, Shin was accused of plagiarizing "Patriotism" by Japanese author Yukio Mishima for her short story "Legend," published in 1996. Shin admitted her mistake a week later.

    Shin Kyung-sook

    "The last four years was a long and painful period in my life, and I looked back over my 30-year writing career, going back to the very beginning," Shin wrote. "A momentary carelessness in my youth caused a serious mistake in my writing. It was forgotten in my memory and a long time had passed. My petty pride as a writer made it difficult for me to acknowledge it quickly."

    She added, "Writing is the only thing I can do, so by continuing to write step by step, I will repay my debt to everyone who had high hopes in me and whom I let down."

    In the new story, which is told in the first person, the unnamed narrator receives a farewell message from a friend living in Germany. The friend, who married and settled in the foreign country after going there to study, tells her that she is battling cancer. The narrator leaves for Germany to meet the friend. The piece appears to be a tribute to Shin's long-time friend, the poet Heo Su-kyoung, who passed away in Germany in October last year of gastric cancer.

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