1941년 제주에서 태어나 서울대 영어교육과를 졸업했다. 1975년 동아일보 신춘문예에 단편 「아버지」가 당선되어 작품활동을 시작했다. 소설집 『순이삼촌』 『아스팔트』 『마지막 테우리』, 장편 『변방에 우짖는 새』, 『바람 타는 섬』 『지상에 숟가락 하나』 『누란』, 수필집 『젊은 대지를 위하여』 『바다와 술잔』이 있다. 신동엽문학상, 만해문학상, 오영수문학상, 한국일보문학상 등을 받았다.
Hyun Ki-young, a native of Jeju Island, is best known for his relentless investigation into the traumatic events that scar the modern history of Jeju Island. He first attracted the attention of the literary world with the novella “Sooni’s Uncle,” a controversial dramatization of the April 3rd Jeju Uprising in 1948, during which the rightist police and the US military massacred Jeju Island civilians and burnt the entire island to the ground in an attempt to exterminate communist sympathizers and leftist underground organizations. Several of Hyun’s subsequent works center on this particular incident. The author has also served as the director of the Committee for the Investigation of the April 3rd Jeju Uprising and as the president of the Jeju Institute for the Investigation of Social Problems. Hyun is the recipient of 1986 Shin Dong-yeop Fund for Writers, 1990 Manhae Literature Prize as well as 1999 Hankook Ilbo Literature Prize. He has authored: short story collections Uncle Sun-i, Asphalt, and The Last Horse Herder; and novels The Bird That Cries on the Periphery, A Windy Island, and One Spoon on Earth.