The Amusing Life is a collection of over forty stories, sketches, vignettes and fables that search out the comical, even the absurd, aspects of everyday life. Along the way, the conventions and mores of work, art, nation, love and family are examined and made newly strange. Two rival countries race to raise the tallest flag. A poet receives a grant letter that’s made to self-destruct. A world confederation of liars welcomes new members. Always instructive but never didactic, Song’s stories are characterized by a lightness of touch that allows laughter to accompany even the darkest truths in this collection.
Song Sokze was born in 1960, in Sangju, and studied law at Yonsei University. After debuting with the publication of “A Man Wiping the Window” in Literature and Thought in 1986, he began writing fiction in 1994, with his collection of short stories, Where Bewilderment Lives. He received the Lee Hyo-seok Literary Award, the Korea Times Literary Award, the Dongseo Literary Award, and the Dongin Literary Award. He also received the Chae Man-sik Literary Award in 2015 for his novel, The Invisible Man.