April literature night: The Court Dancer, by Shin Kyung-sook

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book.

Shin Kyung-sook: The Court Dancer

Court DancerWedneday 24 April 2019, 19.00-21.00 @KCCUK
Entrance Free – Booking Essential
Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Sunday 7th April.
The booking system utilises a lottery based programme that picks names at random, once the final selection has been drawn we will send you an e-mail regarding the result of the selection.
Available Seats: 15
You can pick up a copy of the book from the Korean Cultural Centre UK, once you have received your confirmation e-mail.

About the Book

Based on a remarkable true story, the New York Times bestselling author of Please Look After Mom brilliantly images the life of Yi Jin, an orphan who would fall under the affections of the Empress and become a jewel in the late Joseon Court.

When a novice French diplomat arrives for an audience with the Emperor, he is enraptured by the Joseon Dynasty’s magnificent culture, then at its zenith. But all fades away when he sees Yi Jin perform the delicate traditional Dance of the Spring Oriole. Though well aware that women of the court belong to the palace, the young diplomat confesses his love to the Emperor, and gains permission for Yi Jin to accompany him back to France.

A world away in Belle Epoque Paris, Yi Jin lives a free, independent life, away from the gilded cage of the court, and begins translating and publishing Joseon literature into French with another Korean student. But even in this new world, great sorrow awaits her. Yi Jin’s grieving and suffering is only amplified by homesickness and a longing for her oldest friend. But her homecoming was not a happy one. Betrayal, jealousy, and intrigue abound, culminating with the tragic assassination of the last Joseon empress–and the poisoned pages of a book.

Rich with historic detail and filled with luminous characters, Korea’s most beloved novelist brings a lost era to life in a story that will resonate long after the final page.

About the Author

Kyung-Sook Shin is one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She is the author of The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness, I’ll Be Right There, and Please Look After Mom, which was a New York Times bestseller and a Man Asian Literary Prize winner.

2 thoughts on “April literature night: The Court Dancer, by Shin Kyung-sook

  1. I enjoyed the novel, but following an episode set in 1888 where Victor, the diplomat, puts on a recording (LP/CD?) of the Symphonie Fantastique for Yi Jin’s enjoyment, my suspension of disbelief was itself somewhat suspended. Curiously, Yi Jin, who has lived her life with music, appears totally unresponsive to Berlioz’ romantic masterpiece.

  2. p.s. It’s a very easy read, for which much credit is due to the translator, Anton Hur.

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