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Endless Blue Sky

Endless Blue Sky

Lee Hyoseok (translated by Steven Capener)

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Publication info

  • Designed by Lee Kyutae
  • 342 pages
  • Published
  • 9781999791247 (pb) / 9781999791254 (e)

Author | Translator

LEE HYOSEOK (1907–1942) was born in Pyeongchang, in what is now South Korea. Publishing his first short story while studying English Literature at Keijō Imperial University, Lee’s early work displayed a sympathy for the socialist cause, and later became more modernist in style. Lee was famously part of Guinhoe, the ‘Group of Nine’, a group which included Yi Sang and Lee Taejun. Every year, his hometown celebrates his life with the Hyoseok Cultural Festival.

STEVEN CAPENER is a Korean-English translator and associate professor at Seoul Women’s University, having completed his PhD in Korean Literature at Yonsei University. Along with Endless Blue Sky, Steven has also translated various short stories by Lee Hyoseok and published articles on the influence of Blake, Whitman, and Mansfield on Lee’s work, as well as the author’s use of Europhilia and cosmopolitanism as a critique of tradition.

Set in 1940s colonial Korea and Japanese-occupied Manchuria, Endless Blue Sky tells the love story between Korean writer Ilma and Russian dancer Nadia. The novel is both a thrilling melodrama set in glamorous locations that would shortly be tragically ravaged by war, and a bold piece of writing espousing new ideas on love, marriage, and race. Reading this tale of cosmopolitan socialites finding their way in a new world of luxury hotels, racetracks, and cabarets, one gets a sense of the enthusiasm for the future that some felt in Korea at the time.

Honford Star’s edition of Endless Blue Sky,  the first in English, includes an introduction and explanatory notes by translator Steven D. Capener.

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