Books

After this evening’s poetry reading in the Coronet Theatre’s wonderful Print Room in Notting Hill Gate, Don Mee Choi will be giving another reading at SOAS, tomorrow evening. She promises she will be wearing a special costume for the occasion, at which she will be reading from her 2016 work, Hardly War. Poetry reading by […]

{ 0 comments }

Book review: Bandi — The Accusation

by Philip Gowman 16 March 2017
Thumbnail image for Book review: Bandi — The Accusation

Bandi: The Accusation – Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea Translated by Deborah Smith Serpents Tail 2017, 245 pp Originally published as 고발, Chogabje.com, 2014. Mike Breen, in his book The New Koreans, describes han as “a kind of rage and helplessness that is sublimated and lingers like an inactive resentment” and is often evidenced in […]

Read the full article →

Event news: an evening of poetry by Don Mee Choi and Denise Riley

by Philip Gowman 2 March 2017
Thumbnail image for Event news: an evening of poetry by Don Mee Choi and Denise Riley

Looks like an interesting evening, celebrating the work of a Korean and a British poet, and marking the launch of Modern Poetry in Translation‘s Korean edition. Poetry @ the Print Room Print Room at the Coronet | 103 Notting Hill Gate | London W11 3LB | www.the-print-room.org 21 March 2017, 7:30pm | £10 | Book […]

Read the full article →

Book review: The Future of Silence – Fiction by Korean Women

by Philip Gowman 27 February 2017
Thumbnail image for Book review: The Future of Silence – Fiction by Korean Women

The Future of Silence: Fiction by Korean Women Translated and Edited by Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton Zephyr Press, 2016, 193pp When an unexpected book-shaped package landed on my doormat in April 2016 I eagerly opened it, wondering what was inside. I was slightly less enthusiastic when I discovered that it was a collection of short stories […]

Read the full article →

Event news: Deborah Smith on translating Bae Suah

by Philip Gowman 22 February 2017
Thumbnail image for Event news: Deborah Smith on translating Bae Suah

Deborah Smith’s latest Bae Suah translation, Recitation, is now available in bookshops. This month you have the opportunity to hear some of the challenges of translating it, courtesy of SOAS’s Centre for Translation Studies: Close to a State of Linguistic Weightlessness: On Translating Bae Suah Dr Deborah Smith (Korean-English translator, Publisher/Editor at Tilted Axis Press) […]

Read the full article →

The KCC’s first literature night of 2017 is The dog who dared to dream

by Philip Gowman 11 February 2017
Thumbnail image for The KCC’s first literature night of 2017 is The dog who dared to dream

The KCC’s first Korean Literature Night of 2017 features another of Hwang Sun-mi’s short novels. And this year, the nights don’t clash with the film screenings. The Dog Who Dared To dream Hwang Sun-mi Tuesday 28 February 2017, 18.30-20.30 @KCCUK The Korean Literature Night (KLN) is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and […]

Read the full article →

New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2017

by Philip Gowman 30 January 2017
Thumbnail image for New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2017

As a follow up to my post on literature and fiction titles coming up in 2017 (now updated twice), here are some of the upcoming non-fiction publications that I’ll be looking out for. There are of course many others: simply do an advanced search on Amazon with keyword “Korea” and publication year 2017 and you may […]

Read the full article →

New and upcoming literature and fiction titles [updated]

by Philip Gowman 16 January 2017
Thumbnail image for New and upcoming literature and fiction titles [updated]

As I’ve been looking back at the books of 2016 I realise that there are a few recent publications I missed. Here are some of them, along with some that are advertised to be out this year. I do wish there was a decent source to tell you what’s new or coming up soon. Publishers’ […]

Read the full article →

Book review: Hwang Jungeun — One Hundred Shadows

by Philip Gowman 4 January 2017
Thumbnail image for Book review: Hwang Jungeun — One Hundred Shadows

Hwang Jungeun: One Hundred Shadows Translated by Jung Yewon Tilted Axis Press, 2016, 147pp Original published as 百의 그림자, Minumsa, 2010 The 2009 Yongsan apartment building disaster barely registered in the news media outside of Korea. But in its way it registered domestically much as the Sewol disaster did, acting as a rallying point against an […]

Read the full article →

A look back at some of the books of 2016

by Philip Gowman 30 December 2016
Thumbnail image for A look back at some of the books of 2016

To cut to the chase, here are my two books of the year for 2016. For more detail, read on. Literature in translation The world of translated fiction seems to have been dominated by two names this year, one Korean and one British. The Korean name of course is Han Kang. Just as The Vegetarian […]

Read the full article →

Book review: Without You, There Is No Us

by Philip Gowman 15 December 2016
Thumbnail image for Book review: Without You, There Is No Us

Suki Kim: Without You, There Is No Us. Rider / Penguin Random House, 2015, 291pp I always come to books about the DPRK with a certain amount of reluctance, because there are far too many of them and I wonder what each successive book will have to say that is new. I approached this one […]

Read the full article →

Book review: Park Wan-suh — Lonesome You

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Book review: Park Wan-suh — Lonesome You

Park Wan-suh: Lonesome You Translated by Elizabeth Haejin Yoon Dalkey Archive, 2015, 252pp Originally published as 너무도 쓸쓸한 당신, Seoul, 1998. I came to Lonesome You with fairly neutral expectations. I had read Who Ate All the Shinga, the story of Park’s childhood in the late 1940s and through the war years. It was an interesting […]

Read the full article →

Book Review: The Story of Hong Gildong

by Philip Gowman 18 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Book Review: The Story of Hong Gildong

Anon (attr Heo Kyun): The Story of Hong Gildong Translated with an introduction and notes by Minsoo Kang Penguin, 2016, 100pp Penguin has done us a favour by bringing us this new translation of a classic Korean tale, along with a useful introduction and notes. Hong Gildong is often described as the Korean Robin Hood […]

Read the full article →

An interview with Jung Yewon

by Philip Gowman 11 November 2016
Thumbnail image for An interview with Jung Yewon

There’s a good interview ithe Jung Yewon, translator of Hwang Jung-eun’s One Hundred Shadows, in The London Magazine. [T]he image of misty rain, “slender as spider’s silk,” is something that … stayed with me as I read, translated, and reread the book, with the ambience of a dream it spun. Authors: Hwang Jungeun

Read the full article →

Event news: Hwang Jungeun book launch at London Review Bookshop

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2016
Thumbnail image for Event news: Hwang Jungeun book launch at London Review Bookshop

Tilted Axis Press is launching its first Korean title on 20 October at the London Review Bookshop. Hwang Jungeun will be present to discuss her work. Tickets via Eventbrite. You can buy a copy of the book before then via the Tilted Axis Press website. Hwang Jungeun: One Hundred Shadows London Review Bookshop | 14 […]

Read the full article →

Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2016
Thumbnail image for Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

Hwang Sun-won: Lost Souls Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Columbia University Press 2010, 354pp Having quite enjoyed two of Hwang Sun-won’s fuller-length stories – Trees on a Slope and Descendants of Cain – though without necessarily being enamoured of the characters of the stories they inhabited, I was looking forward to tackling Lost Souls, […]

Read the full article →

Inspector O in NYT feature

by Philip Gowman 29 August 2016
Thumbnail image for Inspector O in NYT feature

There’s a nice feature on James Church and his Inspector O series in the NYT. Well worth a read, as are the books themselves. Here’s a good quote from the article: “If you want to understand North Korea then you need to read Inspector O,” said Michael Madden, who has spent years studying the North […]

Read the full article →