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The story takes place on a stairwell, all in about a minute’s time, while the narrator’s partner seizes her by the hair after her running out of the apartment to try to escape assault. While she tries desperately to avoid falling down the stairs, she has a series of flashbacks about a friend years earlier. In this brief moment, she searches her memories for things she may have missed, and feels guilt for not having finished writing his story.
HAN YUJOO was born in Seoul in 1982. In 2003, her short story ‘To the Moon,’ won Literature and Society’s New Writers Award and in 2009 she also won the prestigious Hankook Ilbo Literary Award. Her books include the story collections To the Moon (2006), Book of Ice (2009), and My Left Hand the King and My Right Hand the King’s Scribe (2011), as well as the novel The Impossible Fairytale (2013). Han is also a notable translator and has translated Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table, Geoff Dyer’s But Beautiful and The Ongoing Moment, among others, into Korean. She currently teaches at the Seoul Institute of the Arts and Korea University’s Department of Creative Writing. She is an active member of an experimental group called Rue and runs the indie Oulipopress.
JANET HONG is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. Her translation of Han Yujoo's The Impossible Fairy Tale was a finalist for both the 2018 PEN Translation Prize and the 2018 National Translation Award. She has also translated Ancco's Bad Friends, Ha Seong-nan's Flowers of Mold, and Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass.
Left's Right, Right's Left by Han Yujoo