General book news

The latest volume of Modern Poetry in Translation magazine has a focus on Korean poetry. The subtitle of the issue is The Blue Vein – a reference to a line from Kim Hyesoon’s work included in the volume. “Every morning the sky, the blue vein slaps you hard.” The extract is from Kim Hyesoon’s latest […]

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Event news: Deborah Smith on translating Bae Suah

by Philip Gowman 22 February 2017
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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) […]

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New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2017

by Philip Gowman 30 January 2017
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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 […]

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New and upcoming literature and fiction titles [updated]

by Philip Gowman 16 January 2017
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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’ […]

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Inspector O in NYT feature

by Philip Gowman 29 August 2016
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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 […]

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Krys Lee featured in the Guardian

by Philip Gowman 13 August 2016
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There’s a really good interview with Krys Lee (Drifting House, How I Became a North Korean) in The Guardian: “The acclaimed short story writer talks about her debut novel, trying to understand her violent father and moving back from the US to South Korea”. The novel is available on Amazon from 18 August. Krys Lee […]

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Anti-Americanism in Democratizing South Korea

by Philip Gowman 30 July 2016
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This book by David Straub, head of the political section in the US Embassy in Seoul 1999-2002, has just gone onto my wishlist. Reviews by Aidan Foster Carter in the Korea JoongAng Daily and by Bradley K Martin in Asia Times. Available from Amazon.co.uk. Published by Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and distributed by the […]

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Those foreigner-friendly cookery books keep on coming…

by Philip Gowman 26 July 2016
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Time was when you really couldn’t lay your hands on a cookery book focusing on Korean food that was written by someone who understood the UK market. We were all waiting for Judy Joo’s Korean Food Made Simple – which according to Amazon was published on 19 May this year, though it was available on […]

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Tony’s Reading List plugs Bae Suah

by Philip Gowman 6 April 2016
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There’s a great article in support of Bae Suah’s Nowhere to be Found (tr Sora Kim-Russell) on Three Percent, by Tony of Tony’s Reading List fame. A year ago he did a review of Nowhere to be Found along with Highway with Green Apples. And in his Three Percent article he passes on this bit of […]

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Hong Gildong coming soon to Penguin Classics

by Philip Gowman 23 March 2016
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I wonder why it’s taken so long. But coming soon, in a new translation by Minsoo Kang, is The Story of Hong Gildong, “arguably the single most important work of classic Korean fiction,” according to the publishers, Penguin Classics. A release date of 7 July 2016 is mentioned, though Amazon UK is offering it on […]

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Deborah Smith wins Literary Translation award.

by Philip Gowman 29 January 2016
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Han Kang says she’s “amazing”. Deborah Levy says she’s “obviously a genius”. And now, congratulations to Deborah Smith for winning The Arts Foundation Literary Translation Award 2016. According to the TLS blog, the award comes with a £10,000 bursary which Deborah plans to use “to fund research into the Korean author Yi Chong-jun” (Your Paradise, […]

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Event news: Korean ‘Comfort Women’ — Listen to Their Voices, Hear Their Cries.

by Philip Gowman 26 January 2016
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A timely new book on the Comfort Woman issue is out about now from Palgrave McMillan. Its author, Dr Maki Kimura, will be giving a talk at SOAS on 12 February: Korean ‘Comfort Women’: Listen to Their Voices, Hear Their Cries presented by the SOAS Save Jeju Island Society 6:30pm, Friday 12th, 2016, SOAS main […]

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Event news: launch of Han Kang’s Human Acts

by Philip Gowman 17 December 2015
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Three separate opportunities to hear Han Kang talk about her newly-translated book, Human Acts – a Norwich appearance sandwiched in between two London ones. If you can’t wait to get hold of a copy of the book, Foyles (whose event is 13 Jan) claim they have “exclusive availability of Human Acts for a full month […]

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Event news: APPG meeting and book introduction

by Philip Gowman 9 December 2015
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Notice of an upcoming North Korea-related event: The All-Party Parliamentary Group will be hosting an open meeting on Monday 14th December. The event will serve two purposes. Firstly, to outline the Group’s recent business and its strategy for 2016. Secondly, to host Daniel Tudor (former Korea correspondent at the Economist) who will introduce his new […]

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Book news: Han Kang’s Human Acts coming in January 2016

by Philip Gowman 4 November 2015
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Han Kang is among the eight women writers whose books have been awarded an English PEN grant in the latest round. Han, acclaimed author of The Vegetarian, will publish her novel Human Acts in January 2016 with the backing of both a PEN Promotes and a PEN Translates grant. Deborah Smith once again translates, and […]

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Sophie Bowman wins Korea Times translation award

by Philip Gowman 4 November 2015
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Way back in the summer of 2008, when the KCCUK ran its first language class for beginners in Korean, one of the students on the inaugural course was Sophie Bowman. Unlike another student in the same class (me) Sophie has progressed somewhat since then. Many congratulations to her on winning the Korea Times Grand Prize […]

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Book Launch: Cash or Smash by Bada Song (eeodo)

by Philip Gowman 28 October 2015
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Some LKL followers may remember Bada Song’s performance-cum-exhibition at Mokspace earlier this year. The weekend has been documented in a book which will be launched on 31 October. The event will feature a screening of a video of the event earlier this year, plus drinks, discussion, reading and a planned intervention by a political performance […]

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