The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
By Ellen Bass and Laura Davis; translated from English to Korean by Lee Kyung-mi; Dongnyok; 696pp., 25,000 won
An expanded and revised version of a popular self-help book originally published in 1998 is now available in Korean. This classic volume offers help and encouragement to women who were sexually abused during childhood. Based on 20 years of workshops for victims of sexual abuse, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis provide candid accounts of facing and coping with petrifying memories.
Bass was a creative writing instructor in the 1970s. She was shocked by the number of women suffering from such trauma, who she met through creative writing workshops. Together with her student Davis, Bass initiated various programs to reach out to abuse survivors.
Neither author has any training in psychotherapy. They state that nothing in the book is based on psychological theories.
— NOH HYUN-GI
The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett; Ewho; 448pp., 21,000 won
In this book, epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett elaborate on the social consequences of income inequality.
By comparing indicators of health and social status in 23 of the world’s richest nations and in individual U.S. states, they conclude that the societies with the narrowest income differentials — such as New Hampshire or Japan — fare markedly better.
Though the authors provide rather comprehensive food for thought, they rely too heavily on income inequality as the independent variable.
Also, Wilkinson and Pickett do not provide statistical tests as most analyses are in scatter diagrams or lines drawn through data points, which makes their conclusion indeterminate.
— NOH HYUN-GI
Ban Ki-Moon’s Speeches
By Lee Hyun-gu; Language Books; 320 pp., 13,800 won
For students learning English, an effective way to improve their command of the language is to study the speeches of famous people.
As head of the United Nations, one of Ban Ki-moon’s major activities is to give public speeches on various issues that concern U.N. member states.
Speeches given at the United Nations are traditionally concise and written in simple language, so they provide a good learning tool for people trying to improve their English skills.
This book contains some of the major speeches that Ban has given during his tenure as a U.N. secretary-general since 2007.
Ban formerly served as foreign minister from January 2004 to November 2006. Since taking office at the UN’s top job, he has led several major reforms regarding peacekeeping and U.N. employment practices. In June 2011, he was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly and therefore will continue to serve until December 2016.
The book contains Ban’s speeches on various issues and also a CD of him speaking. The book is easy to follow, outlining expressions and vocabulary that is useful for writing speeches. For those who wish to learn more about what Ban has been saying, his speeches are regularly updated on the U.N. website.
— DO JE-HAE
The Woman in Black
By Susan Hill; translated into Korean by Kim Shi-hyun; Moonhakdongnae; 212pp., 11,500 won
This translation of a horror novel published in 1983 introduces bestselling British author Susan Hill to Korean readers for the first time.
With its title a tribute to Victorian gothic novels, the book employs a first person narrative by a self-proclaimed rational man facing preternatural terrors in a haunted house.
Solicitor Arthur Kipps heads to rural town Crythin Gifford from London at the request of his employer to attend the funeral of a client and settle her affairs. What he thought to be a routine business trip takes an unexpected turn when he meets a mysterious woman in black that no one is willing to describe during the funeral, and from there the terror begins.
Besides using ominous place names such as Nine Lives Valley and Gapemouth, Hill evokes suspense through eerie descriptions of the fog filled atmosphere of the seaside town that touch all the senses.
The author tackles the somewhat redundant story successfully enough in an unremitting pace and with descriptive power to make the book worth reading by not just horror fans but anybody who likes a good story.
— CHO MU-HYUN