ASIAN WOMEN WRITERS MAKE THEIR MARK

Explorer of darkness

I realised early on that I wouldn't be able to perfectly fulfil the roles of a writer along with a wife and mother. - JEONG YOU-JEONG (above) on pursuing her writing passion and juggling family. Her husband played a large role in raising their son, n
I realised early on that I wouldn't be able to perfectly fulfil the roles of a writer along with a wife and mother. - JEONG YOU-JEONG (above) on pursuing her writing passion and juggling family. Her husband played a large role in raising their son, now 23, and does a significant portion of the houseworkPHOTO: COURTESY OF LITTLE, BROWN UK
Even though women's bodies are their own, as are their own lives, this freedom we take for granted isn't actually exercised by many who possess it. - SAYAKA MURATA (above), who wishes for more freedom for women
Even though women's bodies are their own, as are their own lives, this freedom we take for granted isn't actually exercised by many who possess it. - SAYAKA MURATA (above), who wishes for more freedom for womenPHOTO: NYTIMES

Olivia Ho speaks to two writers from South Korea and Japan who are challenging patriarchal conventions in their societies

When she was 15 years old, Jeong You-jeong hid in a boarding house during the Gwangju civil uprising.

The boarding house owners and the college students who lived there had left to join the citizen army in the south-western South Korean city to protest against the military dictatorship. They nailed a thick blanket over her window to prevent bullets from flying in, before leaving to face, unarmed, tanks and armoured cars.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2018, with the headline 'Explorer of darkness'. Print Edition | Subscribe