Gong Ji-Young

My Sister Bongsoon

New Book by the author of Our Happy Time. Sold to Philippe Picquier.

Our Happy Time

English translation complete - by Sora Kim Russell (translator of Shin's I'LL BE RIGHT THERE). Prunsoop Publishing/Korea, 2005, 229 pages in English. World English language publication/Short Books /UK and Commonwealth, Marble. Arch Press/Simon & Schuster/US, January 2014. Sold to Editora Record/Brazil, La Esfera de los Libros/Spain, House of Books/Holland, Laguna/Serbia, Kwaity Orientu/Poland, Rye Publishing/Taiwan (also bought OUR SWEET HOME, THE CRUCIBLE).

ntroducing one of Korea’s most beloved and critically acclaimed novelist’s, Ji-Young Gong has sold over 10 million books in Korea alone and most all of her books have been adapted into hugely popular films. Winner of the 2011 Yisang Literary Award, the 21st Century Literary Award, Korean Novel and Literature Prize, Oh-Young-sook Literature Prize and Special Media Award from Amnesty International for OUR HAPPY TIME. Gong has been only published in China, Thailand and Japan.

UR HAPPY TIME is a beautifully written story of the redemption of a young, condemned man and a beautiful, wealthy, young woman who have both endured extreme physical, sexual and mental abuse, suffering, and alienation during their short lives. Yu-Jung has now attempted her third suicide attempt. Her disdain for her mother and indifference to the rest of the world, isolates her from any chance for happiness. Yu-Jung also has an aunt named Sister Monica. Her aunt often goes to prison to meet with death row inmates. Sister Monica meets a new death row inmate, who asks Sister Monica if he could meet her niece Yu-Jung. Sister Monica asks Yu-Jung if she would counsel this death row inmate and Yu-Jung reluctantly agrees to do so. Yu-Jung and the death row inmate do not open up to each other immediately. Yu-Jung comes from a family of wealth and is now a professor at a university. Yet, she has never known happiness since the age of 15. The inmate that she meets, named Yun-Soo has had an even more traumatic childhood experience. He was abandoned by his parents at an early age and has had to live on the streets while caring for a younger brother. Eventually Yun-Soo ends up involved in the criminal world and gets convicted for murder. With their disparate backgrounds, Yu-Jung and Yun-Soo are still able to connect with each other, because both people know grief like few others could possibly know. As they both regain the will to live through their weekly meetings, they must now deal with their feelings for each other and come to grips with the short amount of time they have together.

The novel includes the “blue notebook,” the diary of Yun-Soo, and as the narrative progresses, we learn about his life history and what events caused him to end up where he is today. At the same time, Yu-Jung narrates her story and she finally is able to reveal the secret that has caused her such anguish, but only to Yun-Soo. They set each other free by their acts of unconditional love for each other. This is a love story that transcends love and brings the characters to personal salvation as well. In only 229 pages, Gong, writes with great passion and with an accessible style. The story of these two lovers who are allowed to meet only on Thursdays for one hour in a tiny room in the prison complex, is overwhelmingly gripping and magnificent. Part The Executioner’s Song, part Dead Man Walking, OUR HAPPY TIME is quite simply……unforgettable.