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Hwang Sok-Yong is one of South Korea's most renowned novelists. In 1993 Hwang was sentenced to seven years in prison for an unauthorized trip to North Korea to promote exchange between the two Koreas, and was released in 1998 on a special pardon. He is the recipient of many literary prizes in Korea and was shortlisted for the Prix Femina Estranger in France. His many novels include At Dusk, Familiar Things, and The Guest.