The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Brain-dead husband returns with a new personality

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Jan. 14, 2024 - 08:01

    • Link copied

"Nobody in the Mirror" by Hwang Mo-gua (Arzak)

"Nobody in the Mirror"

By Hwang Mo-gua


The novel "Nobody in the Mirror" begins with a riveting sentence: "The husband, declared brain dead, returned home today as an entirely different person."

Hwang Mo-gwa’s latest science fiction novel delves into the narrative of a wife whose husband, after being declared brain dead, undergoes a brain rehabilitation procedure known as "brain pairing."

The story unfolds as the husband returns home, possessing his former memories but embodying a completely different personality.

The narrator carefully observes a man with the same face as her husband standing before the entrance, awkwardly asking for permission to enter with an unfamiliar expression. Meanwhile, the in-laws, attempting to treat him as they did before, ignore the elephant in the room and push past the perplexing scenario.

However, the husband refuses to be seen as someone with amnesia, insisting that the memories lingering in his mind are not his own.

The story, initiated by a sci-fi imagination, traverses diverse themes such as selfhood, identity, and gender issues.

In the author's note, Hwang reflects, "Personally, disconnection is an important issue. … When all aspects of one's life, including identity, career, achievements and possessions, cease to exist, how can one still take pride in life?”

Hwang was named operations director at the Science Fiction Writers Union of the Republic of Korea (SFWUK) on Monday.