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Eugene and Eugene

Author

Lee Geum-yi

Publisher

Bamtee

Categories

Adolescent Literature

Audience

Youth

Overseas Licensing

Keywords

  • #child sexual abuse
  • #trauma
  • #friendship

Copyright Contact

eojin lee

eojinlee_law@naver.com

+82-2-2235-7893

  • Publication Date

    2020-11-05
  • No. of pages

    304
  • ISBN

    9791197120541
  • Dimensions

    135 * 200
Overview

This landmark work of Korean young adult fiction looks at the issue of child sexual abuse and the wounds and trauma that are inflicted during one's teenage years.

Book Intro

"This pioneering work of young adult fiction was hailed as a story written before its time. Eugene and Eugene was first published in 2004 before there was even a concept known as “young adult fiction” in Korea. Until then, Korean teenagers were given Western classics, other classical works of literature, or Korean contemporary and modern fiction to read. With the publication of this book, young readers finally had the chance to read a book that appreciated and represented their feelings, circumstances, desires, pain, hopes, language, and lifestyles. The significance of being such pioneering work, as the first piece to launch an entire genre in Korea and speak on behalf of young people across the nation, was groundbreaking. This work was not only a pioneer but it was also the voice of a generation, remaining relevant across many years to reach out to tens of thousands of readers and beloved by audiences of all ages. The insight of this work, which manages to speak to children, young adults, and grown-ups alike, moved many hearts, as it was able to establish a connection with the pain and wounds of so many readers. As such, Eugene and Eugene became the definitive work of young adult fiction in South Korea. Lee Geumyi, who has been publishing books for nearly 40 years, is recognized as one of the greatest storytellers of this generation in the genre of young adult fiction. Lee was officially nominated as the 2020 Korean candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most widely recognized award in children and young adult literature. 

 

This revolutionary book deals with heavyweight issues such as child sexual abuse and other trauma experienced in one’s teenage years. As such, the book debuted to phenomenal public interest due to its association with a difficult social issue and a subject that had never before been dealt with in Korean young adult fiction. The book’s two protagonists, both named Eugene, suffer sexual abuse as children while attending kindergarten. They lead separate lives until reuniting again, 15 years later. Even though they had experienced the same trauma, their parents responded completely differently, which dramatically altered their lives. Their stories, together with their lost memories, the dark trauma, and unexpected PTSD, speak strongly and forcefully to readers. The painful truths of the two Eugenes are slowly revealed in the book, together with mysterious narrative devices and a densely focused look into their psyches. 

 

By alternating between focusing on a specific incident and expanding to look at the broader lives of the characters as they are interlinked in their various social networks, the book provides a persuasive look at what “trauma” means to children, teenagers, and adults, and the different approaches we can take to face deeply inflicted wounds. While the subject itself is serious and complicated, the book itself remains insightful yet never dark and even manages to incorporate the delightful, childlike thinking and language of today’s youth while simultaneously depicting how everyday acts of violence and the resulting trauma can completely uproot lives. As the two Eugenes come to recognize each other as another version of themselves, and commit to building on their trauma, stretch their wings, and soar into the skies--even if they must move past the fear of falling--readers will find themselves left with feelings of slight sadness, slight fear, but above all, sweet hope. "

 

About the Author

Lee Geum-yi



Lee debuted as a writer when her work in children’s literature was selected for the 1984 Sebut Literary Award. She is committed to writing stories that breathe warmth and light into the shadowed hearts of children. Her books include the children’s literary titles, Like a Wild Princess, One Night, You Are a Twilight Lily Also, the Bamti Village series, as well as the young adult fiction May I Go There?, Aloha, My Mothers, Eugene and Eugene, and Youth Epitaph. In 2020 she was selected as the Korean candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, known widely as the Nobel prize in children’s literature.

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