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Adultery in Korea

September 12, 2011

An Anonymous Island by Yi Mun-Yol

This week’s New Yorker short story, An Anonymous Island by the Korean writer Yi Mun-Yol, translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl, tells of a young woman teacher sent to work in a remote village school.

How do people in such a place manage a bit of casual sex without upsetting the social order?  It’s fairly easy in the big city.  But in an isolated Korean village, hemmed in by mountains, where everyone knows everyone?

The women in this worldly-wise and tender story have found a solution that works for them, and which their husbands tolerate – so long as they keep the unwritten rules.

Read it here, in the Sept 12th 2011 issue.

Jim Thornton

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