Love, life and death
Between Heaven and Earth
By Yun Dae-nyeong
(Jimoondang, 5,000 won)
The winner of the Yi Sang Literature Prize in 1996, Yun Dae-nyeong’s “Between Heaven and Earth” delves into themes of life and death through a story of two strangers.
The protagonist, who is on his way to attend his aunt’s funeral, runs into a young woman.
Somehow feeling the “shadow of death” on her face, he decides to follow her instead of going where he was originally headed.
His memory of his own life being saved when he was nine, by the sacrifice of his beloved friend, leads him to feel strange empathy for the woman.
The two end up having a brief affair, at a place where the woman had spent many nights with a man who deserted her and left her pregnant.
When the man wakes up the next morning, he finds the woman has already left.
The story is full of rich metaphors of life and death, including black funeral garments, the woman’s unborn baby, white snow and black shadows.
Born in 1962 in Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, Yun studied French literature at Dankook University in Seoul. He has won numerous awards for his literary works, including Today’s Young Artist Award.