Lee Chung-joon (picture), the author of Seopyeonje, died of lung cancer at the Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul around 4 a.m. Thursday. He was 69.
Lee, born in Jangheung in South Jeolla Province, officially became a writer with his first work Leaving the Hospital released in the monthly journal Sasanggye in 1965. He wrote some 120 short and long stories over 40 years. He was regarded as an author who posed fundamental questions about life and literature covering stories from the pain of war to the role of intellectuals, industrialized society and human isolation.
His best works are This Paradise of Yours, which describes the relationship of rulers and subordinates figuratively, An Imbecile and an Idiot, Festival and Ieodo. He received Yi Sang Literature Award, the Dongin Literature Award and Inchon Award. The government decided to award him the Geumgwan Order of Culture Merit Thursday.
He is survived by his wife Nam Gyeong-ja, 65, and one daughter. His body is at the Samsung Medical Center mortuary. It will be an official funeral for a writer, and the funeral ceremony will be at 7 a.m. Saturday. Later at 2 p.m., a street ceremony and an official funeral will be held in Jangheung, South Jeolla Province. Lee will be buried in his hometown Jangheung.