At Dusk

(Haejil Muryeop)

Hwang Sok-yong

Longlisted for The 2020 Pen Translation Prize
Nominated for The Man Booker International Prize 2019
Winner of Emile Guimet Prize 2018

At Dusk

‘A powerful yet modest and profound meditation on personal responsibility and what a fulfilled life might mean… Yet At Dusk never trips over into nostalgia or sentimentality. Hwang’s writing is laced with the hard-won wisdom of a man with plenty left to say.’ The Guardian

Park Minwoo, director of a large architectural firm, has the satisfaction of success in life and of having contributed efficiently to the modernisation and urbanisation of his country. Born into a poor family from a miserable neighbourhood of Seoul, he escaped his environment through study, marriage and career. One day, this now famous, confident man receives a message from a childhood friend whom he loved in his youth. Memories of the past surge up, causing him to dive into a world long forgotten, perhaps denied, and to rediscover the hardships and joys ordinary people face, the people he removed himself from. He interrogates himself about the corruption which runs rife in the construction trade, and his own responsibility in making the urban landscape uglier and the violence done to those ousted from their homes when poor housing was knocked down.

‘Subtly political, deeply humane, a story about home, loss, and the cost of a country’s advancement.’ Kirkus (starred review)

‘Novelist Hwang Sok-yong is a star of the South Korean literary scene, often celebrated for giving the forgotten and marginalised a voice. In his latest book, At Dusk, he does this in a particularly thoughtful and affecting way, through the eyes of a powerful man forced to reconnect with his own humble beginnings through stirred memories of old friends and lovers. The hollow ring of success achieved by withdrawal from one’s own past, and a denial of those left behind to carry on in sufferance, makes for an emotionally and politically poignant metaphor.’ Big Issue

‘What elevates this work, is how the gritty psychological exploration of contemporary Korean society is packaged within a taut and compelling mystery regarding how the two disparate narratives might be connected. At Duskis another short but impactful novel from Hwang Sok-yong.’ Booklover Book Reviews

‘Hwang is a masterful storyteller, and the final third of the book skilfully brings the disparate stories together, with a clever, and surprising, twist to round matters off.’ Tony’s Reading List

‘[A] beautifully observed tale …another superb novel from a writer at the top of his craft.’ PILE BY THE BED

‘One of South Korea’s most famous writers, Hwang Sok-yong’s latest novel translated into French, “Au soleil couchant”, fluently intersects the divergent histories of two characters born in the slums of Seoul and the great history of urbanization of the capital. In France, he has just received the Émile Guimet prize for Asian literature.’ Le Monde Diplomatique

‘It’s simple, bittersweet, straight forward writing, but it speaks to you in the most profound way and leaves you, dreaming, a little burdened, a bit nostalgic, and makes you wonder what you have made of your life.’ Intramuros Mensuel


  • Munhakdongne Korea
  • Editions Philippe Picquier France
  • Scribe UK & USA
  • Scribe Australia & NZ
  • Alianza Spain & Latin America
  • Arab Scientific Press World Arabic
  • Ombra Albania
  • Europa Verlag Germany
  • Jagiellonian University Press Poland
  • Dogan Turkey
  • Hyperion Russia
  • ObarraO / Ibis Italy
  • Alatoran Azerbaijan

Material: Korean edition (200pp); French edition (170pp); English edition (188pp)