The Dwarf

Cho Se-hui

translated from the Korean
University of Hawaii Press 2006 [1978]
A book review by Danny Yee © 2007 http://dannyreviews.com/
The Dwarf is a series of linked stories which follow a dwarf and his family in 1970s South Korea. They involve his attempts to find a livelihood without joining a circus, the demolition of the family house in a slum clearance, his children's recruitment into the industrial proletariat, and their involvement with organised labour. Connected to this are stories about a scion of an elite family, cramming for ultra-competitive university entrance exams, failing to find happiness in sex, and experiencing a rather different introduction to politics.

These stories are often forthrightly political, in a fashion which may be uncomfortable to Western readers — and which one suspects must have only just got past the censors. But the directness of Cho Se-hui's writing is engaging, and his stories are appealing as stories, not just for their depiction of the human cost of economic growth in one of Asia's tiger economies.

July 2007

External links:
- buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Related reviews:
- more Korean literature
- books published by University of Hawaii Press
%T The Dwarf
%A Cho Se-hui
%M Korean
%F Fulton, Bruce
%F Fulton, Ju-Chan
%I University of Hawaii Press
%D 2006 [1978]
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0824831012
%P 224pp