YI SANG (1910–1937) was originally an architect, but after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis at age 22, he quit his job and opened a café in Seoul with his lover, a prostitute named Keum-hong, and began writing full time. His business soon fell apart, as well as his love life. In 1937, during his stay in Tokyo, he was arrested by Japanese police for reasons unknown. His disease worsened in the jail cell, and after he was released, he died within a month.

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