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    Title: Waning Crescent, or the Way You Remember the World

    Author: Chang Kang-myoung

    Genre: Novel

     

    LTI Korea staff: Alex Baek (alex_b@klti.or.kr / +82-2-6919-7733)

Description

  • About the book

     

    Waning Crescent, or the Way You Remember the World is the fifth full-length novel by Chang Kang-myoung, whose creative endeavors are backed by a keen sense of reality honed by more than a decade spent working as a newspaper reporter. This novel discusses the limits of humans as creatures bound to experience time in only one direction.

     

    The author discusses time, memories, and redemption—three fundamental questions of life—through three perspectives—the man, a bullied boy who found himself killing his tormentor; the woman, who realizes the man’s love too late; and the mother, who lost her son to the man.

     

    The man has come out of prison after being incarcerated for killing a bully in high school. The mother follows after him constantly, insisting that her son had never bullied him. Though the novel appears at first to set up a simple binary of aggressor versus victim, it becomes apparent that the author has no intention of revealing who was really in the right. With full knowledge of the future in which the mother murders him, the man chooses not to escape that fate but to save the mother, who will become a murderer. He prepares lies for the people who will be left behind after his death. And after his death, the woman finally realizes that the man’s endearing jokes were actually the truth—the truth that he housed the Cosmic Egg, which gave him insight into the future. That the things he had told her were a confession that he sought her out to be with her, in spite of the tragic fate that choice would lead him to. He had chosen to bear that suffering—even knowing that he would be separated from her and die a painful death—all just to meet the woman.

     

    Humans only experience time in one direction—from the beginning to the end, from the past to the present. This inevitably puts the meaning of life at the later end of time. An unhappy conclusion turns one’s entire life into a tragedy. But really, doesn’t all life end with separation and death, with little variations along the way? What does it mean to live in spite of that truth, and to write a novel about such a life? Waning Crescent, or the Way You Remember the World, is an adventure of a novel that seeks to escape the predetermined patterns of human existence.

     

    The story of Waning Crescent is told in the same way as the novel that the man had written. Events are recounted out of order, impossible to sequence without the page numbers to guide the reader. People can only experience time in one direction. But what about in a novel? Waning Crescent gives readers a taste of escape, a mysterious experience that frees them from the patterns of life.

     

    About the author

     

    Born in 1975, Chang Kang-myoung worked at a construction company before spending 11 years working as a reporter for the Dong-A Ilbo. He made his fiction debut in 2011 with his full-length novel Pyobaek, which won the Hankyoreh Literary Prize. His works include full-length novels Eva Road, Homo Dominance, Hanguki Sireoseo, Waning Crescent or the Way You Remember the World, Daedgeul Budae, and the serialized novel Lumiere People. Chang has been awarded the Soorim Literary Award, the Jeju 4.3 Peace Literary Prize, the Munhakdongnae New Writer Award, and the 2016 New Writer Award. In his short career Chang has already seized not only numerous awards, but many young readers with his captivating prose and his precise, accurate depictions of modern Korea.

     

    About the translators

     

    Born in Seoul in 1990, Slin Jung immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of eight. She won the Literature Translation Institute of Korea’s 13th Korean Literature Translation Award for New Career Translators in 2014, followed by the Commendation Award for the Korea Times 46th Modern Korean Literature Translation Awards.

     

    Media Response/Awards Received

     

    (Judges’ comments from the 2015 20th Munhakdongnae New Writer Award)

     

    A powerful narrative that rises to the challenge of answering how humans can escape the patterns of their existence.

     

    Kang Ji-hee, literary critic

     

    In a world where the connections between sin and repentance, reflection and forgiveness are more complex than ever, the author solemnly questions the true nature of repentance and asks if it is at all possible, before providing a convincing answer through his narrative.

    Ryu Bo-sun, literary critic

     

    Three vastly and fundamentally different perspectives are woven intricately together in this novel. Meticulous and unreserved in composition, it is built upon compact yet striking sentences.

    Shin Soo-jung, literary critic

     

Translated Books (3)

News from Abroad (2)