YJ Jeong

The Good Son

Title title change from Beautiful Demon

Author of international bestseller and critically acclaimed, Seven Years of Darkness, new #1 Korean bestseller, EunHaeng NaMu Publishing Co., Ltd./Korea (published as Origin of the Species in Korea) since May selling over 600,000 copies; think Stephen King meets Lionel Shriver. English partial, 399 pages. Sold to Penguin Books,US, Little Brown/UK & Commonwealth, Like/Finland, Unionsverlag/Germany, Picquier/France,Feltrinelli/Italy,Random/Spain.

“In Beautiful Demon, Jeong digs into the origin of evil with a psychopath as the main character – but her approach is far from simply projecting abstract guesses about what a psychopath must be like. What she employs instead is a scientific approach as she sharply examines the various components that interplay and build into the genesis of a psychopath.

Just as the topic of her previous novel ‘28’ was related to current issues – at the time, the spread of a virus in Korea and around the world – Jeong’s new novel is likewise purposefully reminiscent of the cold blooded crimes recently creating a stir in our society.

“I was worried that critics might say my book beautifies a villain,” said Jeong. Contrary to the author’s concerns, the prevailing response from readers is that though the story itself may have some uncomfortable moments, it is thought-provoking, leaving readers with deep philosophical implications to ponder over.

The uproarious response from readers moreover disproved earlier concerns that the novel may not receive as much attention due to its release date being so close to the day Han Kang received her Man Booker Award. Online book reviewers raved, “overpowering narration by Jeong,” “incredible, just as expected,” “it pulls you in,” and “novel that leaves you spellbound.”

 – Esther J. Kim, KoreaBizWire.com

 

28

Eunhaengnamu Publishing, 496 pages, June 2013 publication, #1 bestseller with over 500,000 copies sold. Sold to Taiwan, China, Vietnam

A thrilling, multilayered tale of undying loyalty and unlikely kinship during uncertain times, 28 is the explosive new bestseller by Jeong Yu-jeong, the celebrated Korean master of suspense. Injecting her trademark precision and complex, irresistible characters into this story of a city overtaken by a mysterious disease, Jung has crafted an intricate study of the true form human nature takes during disaster and the resulting anarchy.  

This adrenaline-filled novel is written from the six characters’ intersecting points of view, a stark reminder that no event is ever clear-cut. Brimming with characters that are larger than life and embroidered with evocative meditations on humanity, 28 is a riveting ride of fear, despair, and the power of empathy. This blockbuster of a novel is reminiscent of the very best of Stephen King and is sure to be a worldwide sensation.

Seven Years of Darkness

Eunhaengnamu Books (2011- 523 pages)<Korea, sold over 600,000 copies.

Debut novel.

 

The agony of being branded a murderer's son is beautifully captured, as is the complex psychology of the violent, narcissistic Yeong-je and the fierce love Hyeon-su has for his son. This is a chilling but lovely look into the strength and depth of fatherly love, both biological and adopted, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate.   SEVEN YEARS OF DARKNESS follows the story of a young man (Seo-won) trying to figure out what happened one fateful night seven years ago, when his father opened the floodgates of a dam where he worked security and caused an entire village to disappear. Since his mother died in the flood and his father was put in prison for his crime, Seo-won had been adopted by Seung-hwan, an old co-worker of his father's, and led an itinerant life together; a few years after arriving in a new town, old newspaper articles about Seo-won's link to the mass murderer would be circulated, forcing them to move again. One day, Seung-hwan disappears, and Seo-won receives a package in the mail containing a manuscript describing what had happened; the novel switches back and forth between Seo-won in the present day and the manuscript that Seung-hwan had written.  

The father, Hyeon-su, had a drinking problem, and one day he hits a young girl late at night as he is returning home. Panicked, he grabs the girl's body and throws it into the dam. The girl's father (Yeong-je) is a neighbor as well as a prominent citizen with a mean streak; a classic abuser, he had beaten his wife and his daughter, and when his wife ran away, managed to gain full custody of the girl. Because in prior cases when he beat his daughter, Seung-hwan had intervened, Yeong-je suspects Seung-hwan, but soon learns it must have been Hyeon-su who killed his daughter. Yeong-je manages to kidnap Seo-won and threatens to kill him for revenge, but as a last desperate attempt to save his son, Hyeon-su releases the water in the dam, destroying the village and killing hundreds of people. Seo-won is rescued by Seung-hwan, who manages to get to him in time. Although everyone believed Yeong-je had drowned in the flood, it becomes evident he hadn't; he had been meticulously stalking Seo-won and Seung-hwan, and is plotting to kill him. Although Seo-won is kidnapped by Yeong-je again to be killed, it turns out Hyeon-su had been figuring out the details of Yeong-je's plot and had entrusted Seung-hwan to carry out his plan to save Seo-won. However, by the time Seo-won is freed and Yeong-je is brought down, Hyeon-su has already been executed.