Divorce – Kim Soom

I had to take breaks while reading Divorce by Kim Soom. It broke my heart and made me think of all the divorcees I know and what they’ve been through throughout their lives. Kim Soom is one of those influential voices, and we need to hear more from her.


Divorce tells the stories of different women with different ages. We hear the story from a poet; she is about to get a divorce, and she thinks about the women in her life and their sufferings. Although what she has been through is different from the other generations, it is still a form of suffering and loneliness.

Divorce - Kim Soom

There were times when she wanted to ask him how someone so committed and connecting with the socially disadvantaged, to documenting their suffering in painstaking detail, could be so unfeeling to the suffering of the person closest to him.

Divorce, Kim Soom

This little book will make you think hard about the marriages around you. And of course, you’ll see that women are the ones who suffer the most, whatever the country. A quick and beautiful read, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.



A poet reflects on the lives of the different generations of women around her so as she contemplates her own divorce from a socially-engaged photographer; her feelings are complicated by the ethics of public/private, art/life divisions, as well as the country’s contemporary history. The story reveals the raw complexity of gender dynamics in a society still hobbled by the demands forced on its people through war and ideology and rapid modernization; it is a good reminder of the so different feminisms that do and must exist.

Kim Soom

Kim Soom is a South Korean writer. She is so known for her “elaborate descriptions and aesthetic style”. And for her “vivid allegories.” Her recent novels critically examine modern and contemporary Korean history.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Yeoyu – New Voices from Korea

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