The Road to Sampo

(Sampo ganeun gil)

Hwang Sok-yong
The Road to Sampo

Two migrant workers moving from site to site and a runaway prostitute walk a long way together. A friendship grows between these three who were strangers to each other and soon will be again. Their hopes and nostalgia colour this journey with poetry and humanity.
The three stories that complete this book evoke key episodes in Korean history, sometimes with an autobiographical tone: a child caught up in the turmoil of the civil war between South and North in the 1950s; the desperation of a Korean soldier enlisted in the Vietnam War; the disillusionment of one peasant among the thousands who, in the 1970s, deserted the countryside for the city’s mirages. First published in 1973 and adapted into an award winning film starring starring Baek Il-seob, Kim Jin-kyu and Mun Suk


  • Editions Philippe Picquier France
  • Changbi Korea (and in various anthologies)