Rina is a defector from a country that might be North Korea, traversing an “empty and futile” landscape. Along the way, she is forced to work at a chemical plant, murders a few people, becomes a prostitute, runs a lucrative bar, and finds a solace in a motley family of wanderers all as disenfranchised as she. Brutal and unflinching, with elements of the mythic and grotesque interspersed with hard-edged realism, Rina is a pioneering work of Korean postmodernism.
Kang Young-sook was born in Chuncheon, Gangwondo, and graduated from the Seoul Institute of the Arts. She attended the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program in 2009, and has served as an advisory member of the Korea Dialogue Academy since 1990.