The Korean diaspora has now become a worldwide phenomenon. How has this come about? Until the twentieth century, the first stage of the Korean diaspora--affliction-driven and confined mostly to Russia, China, Japan, and the United States--had passed into history without leaving much record of its traumas. Unlike the first stage of the Korean diaspora, the second stage since the mid-1960s has largely been a voluntary, opportunity-seeking emigration of Koreans to the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia in search of economic, professional, and educational opportunities. Over the last forty years, a remarkable evolution has thus occurred to the Korean diaspora. Not only has it become worldwide, it has also swelled to more than five million overseas Koreans living in 140 countries. How has this growth of the worldwide overseas Korean community affected the evolution of Korean diaspora literature? It is a bilingual literature composed in Korean and the language of the host/ adopted country, mirroring the bicultural and bilingual reality of the worldwide Korean diaspora community. One key question for overseas Korean writers is how they resolve the competing demands, pressures, and influences of the two different traditions and communities they embody in themselves, the very different cultures of Korea and their host/adopted country.


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pp. 261-276
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