"Passing Through Winter" (a literal translation of the Korean title)
By Cho Hae-jin
Author Cho Hae-jin has unveiled her latest novel, “Passing Through Winter," marking her return to the literary scene after two years. Known for consistently narrating the stories of marginalized individuals, Cho takes readers on yet another poignant journey.
The narrative revolves around the protagonist, who, after the heartbreaking loss of her mother to pancreatic cancer, mourns and rebuilds her life afterward. It serves as a tribute not only to every mother and daughter facing farewells, but also to those who need solace after a significant loss.
The novel unfolds against the backdrop of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and the harshness of the Korean winter. The changing seasons, from the biting cold to the emergence of new growth, symbolize the protagonist's progression as she copes with grief and strives to move forward.
Nature, transforming with each seasonal shift, stands as a constant companion to the protagonist's journey beyond pain.
Since her debut in 2004, Cho has been a voice for the marginalized and overlooked in society -- such as people with disabilities, immigrants, North Korean defectors and overseas adoptees.
Her stories extend beyond merely tending to the suffering and wounds of others; they encompass profound reflections on life and offer a warm embrace of hope. Through her works, she has garnered numerous literary awards in Korea.