A group of dramatists commit a subversive act during the South Korean military dictatorship—distributing copies of Karl Marx’s only surviving play, The Specters of Algeria. The resulting crackdown by the authorities sets the direction of the lives of two children of the group’s members, Yul and Jing. Despite the deep connection between them, Yul opens up an alteration shop in Seoul, and Jing moves to Europe. But now, Cheolsu, a dissatisfied employee at a community theatre, is unearthing the truth about The Specters of Algeria and the questions that remain unanswered about what really happened so long ago. Beautifully translated by Yewon Jung, Hwang Yeo Jung’s prizewinning debut is an intricately patterned novel which plays with the idea that there can be a single, objective account of reality and celebrates friendship, human endurance, and love.



Publication Date

April 2023


THE SPECTERS OF ALGERIA on the Honford Star website