Fiction: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang

Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly book coverA two-million-copy bestseller in Korea, Sun-mi Hwang’s The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is an elegant little story that can be appreciated on several levels. Sprout is a caged hen who longs for freedom and motherhood. Her difficulty in laying leads to her being left for dead, but the help of a misfit mallard offers a second chance. The deceptive simplicity of this plot keeps the pages turning, and spare line drawings by Japanese artist Nomoco add to the storybook tone. However, for readers who are intrigued by allegory, there are rich lessons of tenacity, optimism, sacrifice, and individuality. As in books like Animal Farm or Jonathan Livingston Seagull, sometimes animals can teach us how to be better people.