By Jung Young Moon
Translated by Mah Eunji and Jeffrey Karvonen
In four looping, maze-like novellas, eclectic cult favorite Jung Young Moon’s interlinked novellas take the reader on a meticulous, rhythmic journey through a blend of real life, fiction, and ideas.
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
The four novellas in Arriving in a Thick Fog typify renowned Korean cult writer Jung Young Moon's emphasis not on events, but on the meticulous and convoluted paths the narrator's minds take as they navigate through life. Through a deep, filterless gaze into the narrators' heads, Jung shares thorough musings that manage to be both spontaneous and complex. Arriving in a Thick Fog takes the reader on a discombobulating yet captivating stroll. Like “a person looking for a path that stretches forever in the wrong direction,” the reader traces the steps of one who is walking endlessly toward a false destination, through a maze of layered stories.
Jung Young Moon, born in 1965, is an award-winning Korean writer and translator. A graduate of Seoul National University with a degree in psychology, Jung is also an alum of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. In 2012, he won the Han Moo-suk Literary Award, the Dong-in Literary Award, and the Daesan Literary Award for his novel A Contrived World. He has been a resident at the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Korean Study and the 100 West Corsicana Artists’ & Writers’ Residency in Texas, the latter of which inspired his novel Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River. Deep Vellum published his Vaseline Buddha in 2016 and Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River in 2019.
"Maudlin and meandering... The questions the narrator contemplates are often rich, the ruminations on art and life, reality and the imaginary, and animal and human consciousness." ––Publishers Weekly
On Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River:
"Dispassionate, subversive, ambiguous, utterly cuckoo at times, Jung Young Moon has written a short masterwork of contemporary digression, a far distant cousin to Tristram Shandy (1759); but also a novel that acts as an antidote to our age of distraction because it takes real presence to follow the narrator’s mind, a mind that is looking to challenge the notions of fiction — to create fiction that one might hesitate to call fiction.” —Splice Magazine
“Impressive fluidity… Like a lucid dream.” —Foreword Reviews
On Vaseline Buddha:
“Reading Vaseline Buddha feels like watching a magician who explains his trick as he performs it and yet still mesmerizes you with his sleight of hand. You simultaneously enter the dream and wake from it…This resistance underpinning the entire exercise makes Jung an heir to Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz, who understood that writing is the documentation of a dance the writer does between form and chaos.” —Tyler Malone, Los Angeles Times