London Book Fair, day 2

Day 2 of the London Book Fair, in which:

  • Han Kang said very nice things about her translator (Deborah Smith) and Shin Kyung-sook called hers her “twin soul”;
  • We discovered that Kim Young-ha was about to start writing a historical novel set in the Joseon dynasty, only to find out that Kim Insuk had already written it;
  • It was suggested that in North Korea there could be no Homeric “rosy-fingered dawn” (it would have to be red) and we learned that adjectives such as “dear” and “respected” can only be used of the Leader;
  • The cover of Han Kang’s upcoming Vegetarian translation was revealed;
  • The Korean Minister of Culture had his diary slightly re-arranged because of the resignation of his British opposite number;
  • Yi Mun-yol talked about his writers’ club which includes authors from the North;
  • Kim Insuk and Kim Young-ha talked about Koreans being virtual immigrants in their own country – a land of constant bewildering change;
  • Shin Kyung-sook told us she hates travelling, but joked that her next book could be about hotels;
  • Hwang Sun-mi talked about the hen’s egg as a symbol for achieving your dreams;
  • New friendships were made at a reception at BAFTA (there may be some sore heads today).

For more, read the British Council’s live tweets of the proceedings.

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