Hwang Sok-Yong was born in 1943.
A former laborer and activist, he is also a Vietnam War veteran and political dissident. In 1993, Hwang was sentenced to seven years in prison for an unauthorized cultural exchange trip to North Korea. After an international outcry, he was pardoned in 1998 by the then newly elected South Korean president.
The recipient of Korea’s highest literary prizes, Hwang Sok-Yong is published in North and South Korea, Japan, China, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States.
His novel The Guest introduced Hwang to American readers. His most recent novel, The Old Garden, will be published in September 2009.