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Author: Jeong Ho-seung
Publisher: Seoul Selection
Pub. Date: Oct 2020
Pages: 176
Cover: Softcover
Dimensions (in inches): 5 x 7.4 x 0.4
ISBN: 9781624121395
Language: English
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▶ Introduction
English edition of Jeong Ho-seung’s best-selling book Loving
Key work by the renowned poet and pioneer of storybooks for adults, arriving in US bookstores in time for the holidays
Translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé, the 30-year ambassador for Korean literature
A warm, timely reflection on love and sacrifice for a world in danger of losing heart

▶ Publisher’s Review
Jeong Ho-seung’s Storybook for Adults
Written by renowned lyric poet Jeong Ho-seung, whose writing touches on themes of loneliness, love, sadness, and joy, Loving is now available in a newly published English edition. Originally published in Korean in 1998, Loving has seen multiple reprints as a long-beloved storybook for adults that reminds readers of the true meaning of love.
Regarding his motivation for writing the book, Jeong explained, “I wanted this storybook to show how humans cannot exist alone. I wanted to tell everyone that my existence takes on value through their existence.” He added, “I wished to portray love as the utmost purpose of life, revealing the unconditional, boundless, sacrificial, committing, and forgiving nature of true love.”

Nuanced Translation and Soulful Illustrations
Loving offers a delicately nuanced English translation by Brother Anthony of Taizé (An Sonjae), Emeritus Professor at Sogang University. As the translator behind A Letter Not Sent (2016) and Though flowers fall I have never forgotten you (2016), Jeong’s bilingual poetry collections previously published by Seoul Selection, Brother Anthony draws on decades of experience of translating Korean literature for English-speaking readers around the world. Graced by Park Hangryul’s  illustrations, Loving transports readers into its story with poignant words and artwork.

Reflections on Love and Sacrifice, Life and Death
The story of Loving revolves around an unlikely heroine: a fish from a wind chime hanging beneath the eaves of Unjusa Temple’s main hall in Hwasun, Jeollanam-do. Named Blue Bubble-Eyes, this fish grows weary of her mundane routine and begins to question the love of her partner Black Bubble-Eyes. While dreaming of escaping both Unjusa Temple and her partner, Blue Bubble-Eyes unexpectedly breaks free of the wire that had kept her attached, becoming a flying fish who soars through the sky in a quest for freedom and true love. Though exciting at first, the adventure proves to be a perilous journey. After several close encounters with death, Blue Bubble-Eyes realizes that love does not come quickly and without pain.
Jeong’s tender depiction of Blue Bubble-Eyes infuses the story with a deep warmth. When disheartened by adversity, Blue Bubble-Eyes pours out her heart to Unjusa Temple’s recumbent Buddhas in stirring scenes of self-reflection, gaining insight into love and the world. Her fraught process of learning resembles the meditative journey of Zen monks who follow Hua Tou, phrases that rise from encounter-dialogue with Buddhist teachers. The realistic, relatable dialogue between Blue Bubble-Eyes and the recumbent Buddhas lends a compelling touch to the narrative, making the poet’s message all the more vivid and memorable.

▶ About the Author
Jeong Ho-seung
Born in 1950 in Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Jeong Ho-seung was raised in the city of Daegu and received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Kyung Hee University in Seoul. He won the poetry prizes in the 1972 Hankook Ilbo New Spring Literary Contest and the 1973 Daehan Daily New Spring Literary Contest, and the short-story prize in the 1982 Chosun Ilbo New Spring Literary Contest, and was active in the “Anti-Poetry” literary group. His poetry collections include From Sorrow to Joy, Seoul’s Jesus, Dawn Letter, Stars Are Warm, Love Then Die, To Be Lonely Is to Be Human, Take a Train When the Tears Fall, In This Short While, An Embrace, Earning My Keep, Travels, I Refuse Hope, and In Search of You . He also released the poetry anthologies An Unshakable Reed, The People I Love, and To Daffodils; Korean-English bilingual poetry collections A Letter Not Sent and Though Flowers Fall I Have Never Forgotten You; and the essay collections Words That Have Given Me Strength, Words That Have Given Me Courage, and Without You, There is No Me, among others. The storybooks for adults Loving and Lonesome Jar: Poetic Fables have been translated into English, German, Chinese, and Vietnamese; and his poetry collections have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Georgian, and Mongolian. Jeong’s accolades include the So-Wol Literary Prize, the Jeong Ji-young Literary Prize, the Pyeonun Literary Prize, the Catholic Literary Award, the Sanghwa Poetry Award, and the Gongcho Literary Prize.

▶ About the Translator
Brother Anthony of Taizé (An Sonjae)
Brother Anthony of Taizé (An Sonjae) was born in 1941 in England. He studied Medieval and Modern Languages at Oxford University and in 1969 he joined the Taizé Community in France. He taught English literature at Sogang University, Seoul, for nearly three decades. Since 1990 he has published more than forty volumes of translated works by such esteemed Korean authors as Ku Sang, Ko Un, Cheon Sang-byeong, Shin Kyeong-nim, Park Ynhui, Yi Mun-yol, and Do Jong-hwan. Since January 2011 he has been president of the Royal Asiatic Society’s Korea branch. He received the Korean government’s Award of Merit, Jade Crown class, in October 2008 for his work in spreading knowledge of Korean literature throughout the world. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to British-Korean relations.


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