She’s one of the most prolific authors in South Korea, but Shin Kyung Sook has been caught up in a major plagiarism scandal that has seen one of her most popular books withdrawn from stores around the world.
On June 23, the bestselling novelist publicly apologized for the situation as her publisher confirmed they would be removing her collection of short stories, Potato Eaters, in response to the allegations.
Shin — who was the winner of the esteemed 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize — was accused by another Korean writer for copying sections from late Japanese author Yukio Mishima‘s 1961 classic, Patriotism, in her own 1996 short story called Legend.
Although Shin’s first comment was that she has not read Mishima’s work, she today admitted that the similarities are too strong for her to fully be sure she hadn’t read Patriotism and been influence.
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The writer tells Korea’s Kyunghyang newspaper, “I cannot trust my own memory… It is all my fault that I created a situation that I have to come out in public and express my stance. I sincerely apologize.”