Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom - by Lee Hyo-Seok (Author)

Condition Details: Hardcover in DJ in Good Condition


We have run out of stock for this item.


Highly unusual quadruple translation, from Korean into four languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.

‘When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom’ follows the travails of an ageing market vendor by the name of Heo Saengwon as he struggles to scratch out a living as a member of a ragtag coterie of itinerant hucksters. The story opens with the misery of a failed market day in a nameless village. Neither Heo nor his two companions (Jo Seondal and Dong-i) have fared well, but rather than strike out for the next village, they elect to drown their sorrows at the local watering hole. It is here that a row erupts over a young(ish) barmaid who has taken the fancy of the luckless Heo Saengwon. Old and pock-marked, it is clear to all (including Heo) that he has little chance of winning the girl. As the spirits flow, the weight of this intelligence causes him to become belligerent to those around him, especially toward the much younger Dong-i who appears to be making some headway with the barmaid in question.
Tempers eventually cool, and the three men set out in caravan for the next village where they hope to have better luck. En route Heo relates the story of his one and only romance, which took place some 25 years before. In strikingly poetic terms, he describes how he came upon a lonely young woman sheltering in a watermill and how they took comfort in one another’s bodies among the profusion of blossoming buckwheat flowers.
It is these passages that likely inspired the publishers to choose this particular story from the more than seventy written by Lee Hyo-Seok during his lifetime.