The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Jang Ryu-jin offers hyperrealistic portrayal of joys, sorrows of office workers

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : July 22, 2023 - 16:00

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"The Training" by Jang Ryu-jin (Changbi Publishers)

"The Training" (working title)

By Jang Ryu-jin

Changbi Publishers

Jang Ryu-jin's latest compilation of six short stories titled “The Training” makes for a delightful reading experience with its fast-paced plot and witty dialogue.

Jang’s second collection follows in the footsteps of her first work, “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work” (2018), offering a lighthearted consolation to young individuals worn out by the daily grind.

As one of the leading young writers in Korea, Jang draws from her personal experiences of working at an IT company in Pangyo, dubbed South Korea's Silicon Valley. The author expertly weaves her insights into the narrative, constructing a hyperrealistic portrayal of office life.

Her story also has a remarkable appeal that captivates readers with their readability. The conversations and thoughts of her characters -- primarily office workers in their 20s and 30s -- create a vibrant ensemble set in bustling cities.

Among the six stories, the title piece revolves around an accountant grappling with a driving phobia who seeks help from an eccentric driving instructor.

The collection also includes a sitcom-like story delving into love and conflicts within a cycling club, a narrative exploring a clash between an office manager and a bar owner nearby, and an intern reporter’s coverage of an Olympic event.

“The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work” has been translated and published in five countries -- China, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam. Jang’s “Moonbound,” which captures the psychology of young office workers investing in cryptocurrency, is being adapted for the screen.