I have to confess that I have only very recently, since my explorations of China, realised that Korea is actually on the northeast coast of China, on the way to Japan - and not, say, as I perhaps would have guessed if asked, somewhere to the southwest, part of that conglomeration of little countries near Thailand.
A brief look at the introduction to Modern Korean Fiction tells me that it used to be (part of ) occupied* by Japan fairly recently, and I now know that it is a country divided, like Germany used to be divided, into a Communist northern part with an eccentric government, and a more Capitalist southern part. So I guess there will be the same sorts of tensions, which I expect will be evoked in this collection of work since it spans the whole of the twentieth century. I'm hoping by reading it that I shall get some sense of the Korean psyche - from the writers that live there.
*Corrected later - see comments