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About this book
Kim Ji-young, Born 1982
Cho Nam-Joo • Jamie Chang
Kim Ji-young is the most common name for Korean women born in the 1980s.
Kim Ji-young is representative of her generation:
At home, she is an unfavoured sister to her princeling little brother.
In primary school, she is a girl who has to line up behind the boys at lunchtime.
In high school, she is a daughter whose father blames her for being harassed late at night.
In university, she is a good student who doesn’t get put forward for internships by her professor.
In the office, she is an exemplary employee who is overlooked for promotion by her manager.
At home, she is a wife who has given up her career to take care of her husband and her baby.
Kim Ji-young is depressed.
Kim Ji-young has started acting out.
Kim Ji-young is her own woman.
Kim Ji-young is insane.
Kim Ji-young is sent by her husband to a psychiatrist.
This is his clinical assessment of the everywoman in contemporary Korea.
About the Creators
CHO NAM-JOO was born in 1978 in Seoul, South Korea. She graduated from the Department of Sociology of Ehwa Women’s University. She is a former television screenwriter and the author of two previous books, When You Carefully Hear (2011), winner of the Munhakdongne Novel Award, and For Comaneci (2016), winner of the Hwangsanbeol Award for Young Adult Literature. She lives in South Korea.
JAMIE CHANG is an award-winning translator and teaches at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.
Awards and Praise
“After reading Kim Ji-young, Born 1982, what I hadn’t taken as anything serious before came to my mind. It reminded me of the unfair treatment I had experienced for being a woman, and I felt like I was caught off-guard.”— Sooyoung, member of K-pop group Girls’ Generation
“The book’s implications were unlike any other and I was impressed.” — RM, member of K-pop group BTS
“It is strange that tears welled up in my eyes because this story is not at all unfamiliar to me. It is my story and also that of innumerable women of the same generation who grew up under subtle discrimination and violence.” — Choe Jieun, journalist, IZE Magazine
“The book was fresh and shocking to me. It traces the life cycle of an ordinary, typical woman from her school days and working life to marriage and childbirth. At the same time, it shows the history of the women’s policies in Korea.” — Lee Myung-sun, President of the Korean Women’s Development Institute
“The argument that this is a must-read book for Koreans didn’t sound hollow to me because as I was reading the book, I could understand a little what it is like to live as a woman in Korea.” — Jeong Hyeongmo, culture editor, JoongAng Sunday
“Published without fanfare . . . the book sales rose steeply through word of mouth, and now it is the best-selling fiction. It is used as teaching material for some universities’ sociology courses, and Roh Hoe-chan, the floor leader of the Justice Party, gave the book as a gift to President Moon Jae-in . . . Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 became a social phenomenon.” — Hankook Ilbo
“Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 is an issues-driven novel . . . It was also the most talked about book in the spring of 2017.” — Chosun Pub