Jung Young Moon, born in 1965, is an award-winning Korean writer and translator. A graduate of Seoul National University with a degree in psychology, Jung is also an alum of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. In 2012, he won the Han Moo-suk Literary Award, the Dong-in Literary Award, and the Daesan Literary Award for his novel A Contrived World. He has been a resident at the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Korean Study and the 100 West Corsicana Artists’ & Writers’ Residency in Texas, the latter of which inspired his novel Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River. Deep Vellum published his novel Vaseline Buddha in 2016, and will publish his linked novella trilogy Arriving in a Thick Fog in 2020.
“One of South Korea’s more eccentric contemporary writers, Jung could almost be described as a cross between Beckett and Brautigan – his earlier writing was often extremely dark, but recently the balance has tipped towards lightness, of touch as much as of mood. It’s all part of an aesthetic which prizes vagueness, randomness, digression rather than progression.” — Deborah Smith, translator of The Vegetarian and The White Book
Now Available from Deep Vellum Publishing:
“If someone in the future asks in frustration, ‘What has Korean literature been up to?’ we can quietly hand them Vaseline Buddha.” — Pak Mingyu
A tragicomic odyssey told through free association scrubs the depths of the human psyche to achieve a higher level of consciousness equal to Zen meditation. The story opens when our sleepless narrator thwarts a would-be thief outside his moonlit window, then delves into his subconscious imagination to explore a variety of geographical and mental locations—real, unreal, surreal—to explore the very nature of reality.Jung Young Moon, 2005 alum of Iowa’s International Writing Program, is one of South Korea’s most award-winning, eccentric, and handsome authors, often compared to Kafka and Beckett.
Coming Soon from Deep Vellum Publishing:
In his inimitable, recursive, meditative style that reads like a comedic zen koan but contains universes, Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River recounts Korean cult writer’s Jung Young Moon’s time spent at an artist’s and writers residency in small-town Texas. In an attempt to understand what a “true Texan should know,” the author reflects on his outsider experiences in this most unique of places, learning to two-step, musing on cowboy hats and cowboy churches, blending his observations with a meditative rumination on the history of Texas and the events that shaped the state, from the first settlers to Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald. All the while, the author is asking what a novel is and must be, while accompanied by a fictional cast of seven samurai who the author invents and carries with him, silent companions in a pantomime of existential theater. Jung blends fact with imagination, humor with reflection, and meaning with meaninglessness, as his meanderings become an absorbing, engaging, quintessential novel of ideas.