No One Writes Back is divided into a hundred and fifty-two numbered sections, ranging from just one sentence ("No one wrote me.") to three or four pages. As well as successive episodes of the main narrative, these contain some letters, notably from Jihun to his family, and vignettes of some of the people he had encountered previously: 32, who he saved from suicide and swapped shoelaces with; 109, a fashion designer who became a traveling vendor because of a girl; and so forth.
Much of this is a little off-beat, but it remains solidly grounded and never ventures into the surreal. And everything is handled light-heartedly, though Jang does touch on themes such as educational overzealousness and body dysmorphia. There is a distinctly Korean flavour to No One Writes Back, but it completely avoids the political emphasis of so much Korean writing; it is a lively entertainment that would make an accessible approach to the country's literature.
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