Che Yeun is a fiction writer from Seoul, Korea.

“You hate Jun’s car, a cheap Korean imitation of a European masterpiece. But you see the envelope in his front shirt pocket. The same plain white envelope he gives you every time, the one full of green 10,000-won bills folded in half. You politely keep your eyes on everything but the envelope. Instead you play with his belt, the only one he has, the one with the buckle molded into a lion’s head. You hate how the car’s fake leather is peeling away.”

 (“Keepers,” Virginia Quarterly Review, 2016)


Artist Statement

“I am of the first generation of Far East Asians who can claim first-world economies and technologies. After the devastation of World War Two and the Cold War, we are the first cohort born into roaring industrial growth. Our generation exhibits exceptional rates of higher education and purchase power. However, we also record the highest rates of suicide in the world; we are so estranged and forgotten that we choose to remove ourselves in alarming numbers every day. Our institutions tell us we are the embodiment of democratic progress, but our experiences tell us otherwise. This is the contradiction I want to reckon with in my writing, the intertwining of manic hope and hushed alienation. My stories follow outsiders who, like me, have been excluded from the ideal of “progress” because of deviant bodies, desires, or occupations. My stories are about how they/we search for peace and pleasure in each other.”