[New in Korean] Booker Prize
简介"On Suffering"By Bora ChungDasan BooksWhere does human suffering come from? Can we ever be completel ...
By Bora Chung
Where does human suffering come from? Can we ever be completely free from it? Is a life without suffering a path to salvation?
These thought-provoking questions lie at the heart of Bora Chung's latest full-length novel, “On Suffering.” Chung delves into the abstract theme of pain within the intriguing framework of science fiction.
The novel may be a turning point in Chung's literary career as it is the first thriller by the author who had devoted herself to the horror and fantasy genre.
The story unfolds in a world where a “perfect” painkiller has been invented. But the pharmaceutical company, responsible for this groundbreaking development, becomes the target of a devastating bomb attack. Behind this act of terror is a mysterious religious group which preaches that suffering is the sole path to salvation. Fast forward 12 years, the leaders of this religious sect are found dead. Police reopen a cold case, calling in the suspects originally held in for the bomb attack.
Chung said she got the inspiration for the story while participating in a sci-fi literary event in San Jose, US, in 2018, during which she had a discussion about pain and painkillers.
Her interest in documentaries and investigative programs, especially those on cults, adds depth to the story.
The author’s distinctive narrative style, blurring the lines between a mysterious, at times horrifying, world and our own reality remains a central feature. The characters grapple with a range of issues, such as child abuse, domestic violence, religious brainwashing, and same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, Chung’s Booker Prize-shortlisted “Cursed Bunny” (translated by Anton Hur) is a finalist for the US National Book Award. The winner will be announced Nov. 15.
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