Children’s Folk Tales series

Hwang Sok-yong

‘If you look closely at our mythology, it’s very heartwarming and very funny, and it’s also touching to see the main characters go through various difficulties, but overcome them and find their place.’ Hwang Sok-yong

Hwang Sok-yong has represented Korean literature for more than 60 years since his debut in 1962. His literature has always been infused with folk tales. He now publishes a collection taking traditional tales and giving them a new twist so that they are timeless and universal and for all ages. These Korean folk tales reflect the hardships of the common people and their desire to overcome them. Instead of succumbing to pain and despair, they contain the sentiment of ‘shinmyeong’, which is to laugh at adversity and inspire hope through dance, song and story. Hwang spent 20 years collecting original folk tales and has meticulously searched through hundreds written in different eras and from different perspectives, choosing mysterious and interesting tales featuring human and animal characters that help us understand our roots, and showcase our humanity.

Example of Volume 5: A monster called the Underground Demon who kidnaps innocent maidens and attacks those who try to stop him serves as a metaphor for the evil powers-that-be and the harm people suffer. Han Liang is a martial artist in the human world, but to a monster like the Demon, he’s just a man. Instead of recklessly rushing in to take on the Demon alone, he enlists the help of three sisters. The sisters help Han Liang build up his strength to face the demon, while also learning about the underground demon’s weaknesses and relaying the information to Han Liang. Finally, with the help of these three sisters, Han Liang defeats the Demon.

Folk tales of monsters and heroes share a common thread. In a world where monsters with immense power torment innocent people, heroes emerge to use their extraordinary strength and work with others to defeat the monsters. The hope being that heroes like Han Liang would emerge in the real world, and lend their support to defeat villains and change the world. A tale of collective power that embodies the independence and determination to change history.

Spanning 150 stories across 50 volumes, the first 12 books have recently been published in Korea. We have made a selection of the volumes that speak most strongly globally.

Sales

  • HumanCube Publishing Group Korea

Material: Korean edition/PDFs (68–80pp); Full English translation of Volume 5 ready soon