Matthew Hooton worked for four years as an editor and teacher in South Korea, where he first encountered stories of the Dutch shipwreck and plight of Korean ‘Comfort Women.’ His first novel, Deloume Road, was published in 2010 by Knopf/Vintage in Canada, and Jonathan Cape/Vintage in the UK. It was awarded the Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker Prize’ in 2010. He holds a PhD from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Matthew now teaches creative writing at the University of Adelaide.
Based on the seventeenth-century journal of a shipwrecked Dutch sailor, and testimonies of surviving Korean 'Comfort Women,' Typhoon Kingdom is a story of war, romance, and survival that brings to life the devastating history of Korea at crucial moments in its struggle for independence. In 1653, the Dutch East India Company’s Sparrowhawk is wrecked on a Korean island, and Hae-jo, a local fisherman, guides the ship’s bookkeeper to Seoul in search of his surviving shipmates. The two men, one who has never ventured to the mainland, and the other unable to speak the language, are soon forced to choose between loyalty to each other, and a king determined to maintain his country’s isolation. Three-hundred years later, in the midst of the Japanese occupation, Yoo-jin is taken from her family and forced into prostitution, and a young soldier must navigate the Japanese surrender and ensuing chaos of the Korean War to find her.