London Book Fair

Our regular unscientific seasonal post which recognises some of the people, books, films and events which made 2014 an outstanding year. Personality of the Year This year there seem to have been more anti-heroes than heroes – examples to avoid rather than emulate. Villains we loved to hate this year have included the reclusive photographer, […]

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Gong Ji-young in conversation with Grace Koh

by Philip Gowman 19 May 2014
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So you thought you were done with the London Book Fair? Think again. As part of the ongoing programme which the British Council reminded us about at the Fair, it’s about more than just the three days in April. For starters, LKL hasn’t finished writing it all up yet… But more importantly Gong Ji-young’s in […]

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London Book Fair – the photo gallery

by Philip Gowman 18 May 2014
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A collection of some of the photographs of three days at Earls Court (8-10 April) with related events at the Free Word Centre (7 April), British Library (8 April), BAFTA (9 April), Asia House (10 April) and the London Review Bookshop (11 April). Thanks to the organisers and in particular the British Council, LTI Korea […]

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The worrisome wife and the lovechild you never knew – some quotes from London Book Fair

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2014
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You can rely on a professional writer to come up with some well-honed soundbites, and the 10 authors who came to the London Book Fair were no exception. Even when delivered through an interpreter, they retained their impact. You might have got the impression that some of them were well-rehearsed. But a quote is a […]

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LBF sketch: the snippets which didn’t quite make it…

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2014
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Sometimes a discussion session is really interesting and you come out of it thinking you’ve get some really good material; and then when you check your notes later there’s just not enough to do a coherent write-up – or the notes don’t make a lot of sense. Or one session might cover the same ground […]

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English PEN video: Hwang Sunmi in conversation with Maya Jaggi

by Philip Gowman 16 May 2014
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Here is English PEN’s video of Hwang Sun-mi in conversation with Maya Jaggi on the second day of the London Book Fair. The Hen who Dreamed she could Fly is obviously one of the things discussed. Links: English PEN YouTube channel Titles: The Hen who Dreamed she could Fly Authors: Hwang Sun-mi (황선미)

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English PEN video: Kim Young-ha in conversation with Krys Lee

by Philip Gowman 16 May 2014
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Here is English PEN’s video of Kim Young-ha in conversation with Krys Lee on the first day of the London Book Fair: Links: English PEN YouTube channel Authors: Kim Young-ha (김영하)

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LBF sketch: Kim In-suk and Kim Young-ha on Migrant Literature and the motivations for writing

by Philip Gowman 13 May 2014
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A write-up of a fascinating panel session at the London Book Fair with the title Writing Home: Migrant Literature. The write-up below focuses on the part of the session which focused on the work of Kim In-suk. The Long Road is Kim In-suk’s first book, and is one of the only Korean language book on […]

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LBF sketch: Kim Young-ha at the London Book Fair: always adapting to a new environment

by Philip Gowman 12 May 2014
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Kim Young-ha attended three London events during the this year’s London Book Fair: a conversation with writer Krys Lee on 8 April, a panel session with Kim In-suk and others on 9 April entitled  Writing Home: Migrant Literature, and a discussion with Daniel Hahn at the London Review Bookshop on 11 April. The below is a digest of those sessions. Introduction, themes, […]

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LBF sketch: Shin Kyung-sook on what modernity makes us forget

by Philip Gowman 11 May 2014
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Shin Kyung-sook attended three London events during the this year’s London Book Fair: a conversation with Arifa Akbar on 8 April, a panel session with Han Kang on Families, Relationships and Society on 9 April, and a panel entitled Separations with Krys Lee and Quaisra Shahraz at Asia House on 10 April. The below  is a digest […]

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LBF sketch: Yi Mun-yol on fable and allegory in his work

by Philip Gowman 10 May 2014
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Yi Mun-yol spoke at three London Book Fair events: on Korean Literature Past and Present at the British Library on 8 April; on Allegory and the Literary Imagination on 9 April; and in conversation with Claire Armitstead on 10 April. The below is a digest of those appearances. Grace Koh: Yi Mun-yol’s debut was Son […]

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LBF sketch: Hwang Sok-yong and the burden of history

by Philip Gowman 6 May 2014
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Like many of his fellow authors at the London Book Fair, Hwang Sok-yong was put to work in at least three events: first at the Free Word Centre on 7 April with author Adam Foulds; then on the first day of the Fair itself he appeared with Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie in a panel session […]

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LBF sketch: Hwang Sun-mi on following your dreams

by Philip Gowman 22 April 2014
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LKL reports from two events involving Hwang Sun-mi at the London Book Fair in Earls Court. So you think Hwang Sun-mi’s bestselling book The hen who dreamed she could fly is all about maternal sacrifice? Think again. It could be that you’ve been influenced by the film adaptation Leafie, a hen into the wild. During […]

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LTI Korea video: Yi Mun-yol in conversation with Claire Armitstead

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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Here is LTI Korea’s video of Yi Mun-yol in conversation with The Guardian‘s Claire Armitstead at the English PEN Literary Salon, Earls Court on the last day of the London Book Fair 2014, 10 April 2014: Links: LTI Korea website | YouTube channel Authors: Yi Mun-yol (이문열)

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Write-ups of the London Book Fair

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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Here are some links to articles about the London Book Fair, to which I’ll add as I find more. Ten Korean writers on a country sawn in half, Claire Armitstead, Guardian, 7 April 2014 South Korean lit as proxy for every Korea, past, present, and future, kokkiri comments on the above Guardian article, Subject Object […]

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LTI Korea video: Shin Kyung-sook in conversation with Arifa Akbar

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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Here is LTI Korea’s video of Shin Kyung-sook in conversation with The Independent‘s Arifa Akbar on the first day of the London Book Fair. The topic is mainly Please Look After Mother, but also we talk about I’ll be Right There, and we learn about what Shin is working on right now. LKL’s question comes […]

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Podcast: Kim Hyesoon reads at the Poetry Library

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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For those who decided to go to see Shin Kyung-sook and Krys Lee at Asia House rather than Kim Hyesoon at the Poetry Library, MPT Magazine has kindly recorded the latter event and put it on Soundcloud. “They’re poems that really change your life … completely visceral,” says the moderator, among other things. The event […]

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