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Catholics mourn Korean woman writer’s death

Park Wan-suh’s writings gave strength to poor people, says Seoul cardinal

Park Wan-suh Park Wan-suh
  • Stephen Hong, Seoul
  • Korea
  • January 24, 2011
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Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul has expressed sadness over the death of a Catholic woman novelist and essayist who delved into post Korean War realities.

Park Wan-suh whose novels criticize materialism and oppression against women, died from gallbladder cancer on Jan. 22. She was 80.

“Park was a representative writer and a great Catholic who showed good example,” said Father Matthias Hur Young-yup, public relations department director of Seoul archdiocese, while conveying Cardinal Cheong’s message.

Park had been loved by not only Catholics but all Koreans and her writings “gave consolation and strength to poor people,” Father Hur said.

Sister Claudia Lee Hae-in, a poet, said in an interview with a daily, that “Park’s writings were attractive and informed people of many things without using didactic styles.” She said she feels “deep sorrow” over the loss of a mentor.

Park who was born in 1931 wrote her first novel at 39. The Korean War (1950-1953) that caused her to drop out of university was the driving force which led her to enter the literary world.

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