Back To Top

Shin Kyung-sook may face investigation for plagiarism

Novelist Shin Kyung-sook may face a prosecutorial investigation over suspicions of plagiarism.

Sociologist Hyun Taik-soo filed a complaint with pubic prosecutors on Thursday, asking the authorities to determine if Shin deceived her publisher and readers with her two works suspected of plagiarism ― “Legend,” published in 1996, and 2008’s “Please Look After Mom.”

The action comes amid a heated controversy over Shin’s integrity as a writer.

On Tuesday, a fellow novelist, Lee Eung-jun, accused Shin of lifting a passage from “Patriotism” by the Japanese author Mishima Yukio in her short story “Legend.”

Shin denied the accusation, claiming she had no prior knowledge of Yukio’s work, but many readers and Korean literary figures seem unconvinced.

The case also shed new light on Shin’s past suspected plagiarism, including the 2011 New York Times best-seller “Please Look After Mom.”

Some suspect that the novel, which sold over 2 million copies in Korea and catapulted Shin into international acclaim, has some motifs and parts taken from Luise Rinser’s “The Middle of Life.”

By Lee Sun-young (
Korea Herald Youtube