General book news

Fashion designer Rejina Pyo has joined with her husband, chef and food writer Jordan Bourke, to produce Our Korean Kitchen, available from 3 September (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25). Judging by the extract published today in The Guardian, the recipe book is user-friendly, full of welcoming photographs, and adapts traditional recipes to accommodate ingredients available in […]

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Book news: Han Kang at the Edinburgh Book Festival

by Philip Gowman 14 August 2015
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Hang Kang will be appearing with Mary Costello at the Edinburgh Book Festival. And you can vote for Han Kang’s The Vegetarian for the First Book Award here. The Quest for Another Life Mary Costello & Han Kang Sun 16 Aug 7:00pm – 8:00pm Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre £7.00, £5.00 Book here ‘Heartbreaking’ and ‘packed […]

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Hyeonseo Lee: The Girl with Seven Names and three book launches

by Philip Gowman 9 June 2015
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Hyeonseo Lee’s memoir, The Girl with Seven Names, is published on 2 July. Three separate events on 1 July (Asia House), 2 July (European Association for Human Rights in North Korea) and 3 July (Guardian / Amnesty) will give you the chance to hear her story and get a signed copy. Details in date order […]

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Hwang Sok-yong returns to London

by Philip Gowman 13 May 2015
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A little over a year after the London Book Fair, at which his Vietnam war novel The Shadow of Arms was launched, Hwang Sok-yong returned to London to launch Sora Kim-Russell’s translation of his 2007 novel Princess Bari. Hwang appeared at Asia House today for a book-signing and conversation with Guardian literary critic Maya Jaggi, […]

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I rather think I agree

by Philip Gowman 26 April 2015
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Have a read of Charles Montgomery’s post What a Terrible Idea! ㅡ Merging the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, and a similar article by Korea Herald editorial writer Kim Hooran Market principle, culture don’t mix. Links: LTI Korea | KPIPA

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A timely arrival for the 2015 London Book Fair

by Philip Gowman 15 April 2015
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Last year there were a couple of translations of Korean novels whose publication was timed to coincide with the London Book Fair. This year, despite Korea no longer being the focus country, the habit seems to be continuing. Bae Suah’s Nowhere to be Found, translated by Sora Kim-Russell, arrived on my doormat today, day 2 […]

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Global Oriental title on Joseon dynasty wins American Library Association award

by Philip Gowman 21 February 2015
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Congratulations to Brill / Global Oriental books, whose Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea was in Choice Magazine’s list of Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014. The book, edited by Cambridge University’s Michael Shin, is a collection of features on various aspects of life in the Joseon Dynasty: Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea shows how the momentous […]

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Published this month: Ko Un’s Maninbo, from Bloodaxe

by Philip Gowman 20 February 2015
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Bloodaxe Books, who last year brought us Kim Hyesoon’s I’m OK, I’m Pig!, and who brought us Ko Un’s moving First Person Sorrowful in 2012 continue their support for Korean poetry in translation by bringing us a selection from Ko Un’s magnum opus, Ten Thousand Lives. Once again Brother Anthony and Lee Sang-Wha are the […]

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An interview with Sora Kim-Russell, translator of Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari

by Philip Gowman 12 February 2015
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Those of you who came along to the London Book Fair last year and were tantalised by seeing a translation of a passage from Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari – at the time unpublished in English, and with no indication even that any more of the book had been translated – will be delighted by this […]

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Han Kang and Deborah Levy in conversation with Deborah Smith

by Philip Gowman 10 January 2015
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When Han Kang appeared at an event with Shin Kyung-sook on day 2 of the 2014 London Book Fair we were treated to a sneak preview of the cover artwork of the English translation of The Vegetarian. It was hot off the press: the book’s translator Deborah Smith had been sent some samples that very […]

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I suppose I’ve got to read this, but what a tacky cover!

by Philip Gowman 3 January 2015
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Oh dear. The story of Shin Sang-ok’s and Choi Eun-hee’s sojourn in North Korea is a compelling one, regardless of whether you think there was compulsion involved. And a book covering film in North Korea is welcome, though Johannes Schönherr has already covered the ground. But do you have to make the book look so […]

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Two Dalkey titles in the running for international literary award

by Philip Gowman 6 December 2014
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There’s tough competition, and a longlist of 140 other books including one by JK Rowling, but two Dalkey Archive titles are in the running for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. According to the award’s website: Nominations are made by libraries in capital and major cities throughout the world. Participating libraries can nominate up […]

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Come celebrate the launch of the next 5 Dalkey K-Lit titles

by Philip Gowman 30 October 2014
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After last year’s release of ten titles, Dalkey Archive Press has a follow-up release of five new translations. If they all measure up to No One Writes Back from their first set, which was runaway winner of LKL’s Book of the Year 2013, there is treasure in store. So come and help celebrate, and encourage […]

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Twinsters story comes to the Kindle

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2014
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Those of you who have been following the story of identical twins Anais Bordier and Samantha Futerman will be pleased to know that their story will be available on Kindle at the end of this month or hardcover next month. The title is Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story of Twin Sisters Reunited. The […]

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Ha-joon Chang on anchovies and economics

by Philip Gowman 27 April 2014
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Cambridge economist Ha-joon Chang’s next book, Economics: The User’s Guide will be available on 1 May. It is the first of a batch of new publications in Penguin’s Pelican imprint, which has been dormant for thirty years. He talks about his book in a diary article in this weekend’s FT: In saying that there is […]

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Lee Jung-myung in London to promote The Investigation

by Philip Gowman 12 April 2014
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Unannounced to any apart from the Korean press, Lee Jung-myung was in town this week with his agent, signing copies of his novel The Investigation (another Kim Chi-young translation). He appeared at Goldsboro Books on Monday night, 7 April – the day before the Book Fair opened. The man behind the counter described the book […]

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“Asian Literature” in Hong Kong

by Philip Gowman 5 April 2014
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Before we get carried away by the idea of the new Korean Literature Wave, here’s the “Asian Literature” (in English translation) section of a decent Hong Kong bookstore this week (Page One in Times Square). Almost 50% Murakami, some Japanese Asia Extreme, and some Chinese. While this would be a normal state of affairs in […]

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