London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Talk, Tea & Books: KCC launches a new book club

An interesting new initiative from the KCC – a book discussion group. For discussion at its first meeting, Park Wan-suh’s Who Ate Up All the Shinga? in the translation by Yu Young-nan and Stephen Epstein, which many of you will remember as the subject of the KLTI’s second essay contest.

The registration deadline for this is quite tight – get your name in to the KCC by close of business on Thursday 6 June – giving you time to pick up a copy, read it, and think about it for the session on 28 June.

A Readers’ Evening of Korean Literature

Friday 28th June 2013 18:30-20:30

The Korean Cultural Centre UK hosts a Readers’ Evening of Korean Literature and welcomes all those interested in Korean literature and culture. The Readers’ Evening of Korean Literature will discuss topics from Who Ate Up All the Shinga?, an extraordinary account of the author’s experiences growing up during the Japanese occupation of Korea and the Korean War, a time of great oppression, deprivation, and social and political instability.

10 copies of the text are available for loan from the KCCUK.

Entrance Free: Booking Essential
RSVP, [email protected] or call 0207 004 2600
RSVP deadline 6th June 2013 17:00
Books can be collected from 7th June 2013 from the KCCUK

Talk Tea Books poster

Who ate up all the shinga? tells the story of the author’s upbringing during one of the most turbulent years in her country’s history” – Adrian Turpin from Financial Times, 5th October 2009

Who ate up all the shinga? makes illuminating reading from non-Korean audiences because of the insights it offers to this period in Korean history” – Joanna K. Elfving-Hwang, Associate Professor of University of Western Australia

About the Author and translators

Park Wan-suh broke into Korea’s literary scene in the 1970s and in 1981 received the prestigious Yi Sang award for her novel Mother’s Stake. Her prolific career includes more than 150 short stories and novellas and close to twenty novels, many of which have topped best-seller lists and have been adapted for the screen. Her works in translation include My Very Last Possession and The Naked Tree.

Yu Young-nan is a freelance translator living in Seoul. She has translated five Korean novels into English, including Park Wan-suh’s The Naked Tree and Yom Sang-seop’s Three Generations. Yu was awarded the Daesan Literature Prize for her translation of Yi In-hwa’s Everlasting Empire.

Stephen J. Epstein is the director of the Asian Studies Programme at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His research focuses on contemporary Korean literature and society, and he is currently working on a book exploring Korean national identity in relation to globalization. He has also published several translations of Korean and Indonesian fiction.

About the Book

Park Wan-suh was born in 1931 in a small village near Kaesong, a protected hamlet of no more than twenty families. Park was raised believing that “no matter how many hills and brooks you crossed, the whole world was Korea and everyone in it was Korean.” But then the tendrils of the Japanese occupation, which had already worked their way through much of Korean society before her birth, began to encroach on Park’s idyll, complicating her day-to-day life.

With acerbic wit and brilliant insight, Park describes the characters and events that came to shape her young life, portraying the pervasive ways in which collaboration, assimilation, and resistance intertwined within the Korean social fabric before the outbreak of war. Most absorbing is Park’s portrait of her mother, a sharp and resourceful widow who both resisted and conformed to stricture, becoming an enigmatic role model for her struggling daughter. Balancing period detail with universal themes, Park weaves a captivating tale that charms, moves, and wholly engrosses.

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