- Book Intro
Beating out over 240 contenders to take the 16th Hankyoreh Literary Prize, The Bleached not only scored a unanimous victory but made a lasting impression on judges. The work was hailed as “a masterpiece guaranteed to spark heated debate not only in the world of Korean literature, but society as a whole,” “the most problematic work in years,” and “a disturbing but tragic portrait of today’s nihilistic youths.” It received the full support of the preliminary judges and the recommendations of the second-round judges.
The title The Bleached refers to the young adults of the “bleached generation”—characters born into a complete, immaculate world with no space for their contributions. As a result, they believe they have no choice but to be “bleached” by society. Proclaiming that the only way to express themselves is to reach the pinnacle of success before committing suicide, the characters post notices on the website whydoyoulive.com and take their own lives within the next 24 hours.
The Bleached takes an unflinching look at the despair of being denied the right to dream. Jang has painted a masterful portrait of young adults today as they struggle each day with unavoidable, bleached futures looming overhead.
- About the Author
Kang-myung Jang was born in Seoul in 1975. He studied urban engineering at Yonsei University and worked for a construction company before working as a newspaper reporter for eleven years at Dong-A Ilbo. His debut novel Bleached was chosen as the winner of the Hankyoreh Literary Award in 2011. He also received the 2014 Surim Literary Award for No Enthusiasm, Eva Road, the 2015 JeJu 4.3 Peace Literary Award for Comment Army, and the Munhakdongne Writer Award for The Last Day, Or How The World Is Remembered. His works include the novels Homo Dominance, Because I Hate Korea, and the short story collection Lumiere People. He received the Writer of the Year Award for Comment Army in 2016.
2011 Hankyoreh Literary Prize