The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a novella I wanted to love. Since my time in Seoul from 2000 to 2002, I’ve longed for more English-language translations of contemporary Korean fiction. The discovery, therefore, of Hen—the Korean-to-English translation of Hwang Sun-Mi’s wildly popular Madang Eul Na-un Amtak—excited me as 1) a children’s lit lover, and 2) a heritage Korean speaker with very uneven reading and comprehension skills. Hen being hailed “a Korean Charlotte’s Web” stoked expectation. Comparisons to George Orwell’s Animal Farm intrigued.
And the prospect of being able to read the original—requiring a grade 5 level of reading, a gooddictionary and some commitment—added to my anticipation.