London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

June Literature Night: Sweet Potato by Kim Tongin

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

Kim Tongin: Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato coverWednesday 26 June 2019, 7pm @KCCUK
Entrance Free – Booking Essential
Apply to [email protected] or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Sunday 9th June.
Or register on the KCC website.
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.
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

A collection of Kim’s short stories translated by Grace Jung provides a compelling glimpse into the birth of a new national literature through a body of exquisitely wrought, profoundly philosophical fiction.

The title story, “Sweet Potato,” is a classic iteration of the “fallen woman” narrative. Pongnyo gives up her miserable job as a moth larvae collector to become a prostitute, until a rich farmer blackmails her into becoming his mistress after she steals a few yams. When the farmer takes a wife, Pongnyo disrupts the wedding, and the farmer kills her in a violent struggle. Adhering to the grim naturalist paradigm, he suffers no punishment.

“This new collection is undoubtedly an significant addition to the body of work of Korean literature in English.” – Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books

About the Author

Kim Tongin (1900-1951) is one of Korea’s earliest and most respected modern writers whose naturalist fiction brilliantly depicts Korean life during a period of profound social change. Namesake of the prestigious Dong-in Literary Award, Kim Tongin’s succinct writing style can still inspire readers and provide insight into early 20th century Korea over 60 years after his death. Finally, a volume of Kim Tongin’s short stories, most of them previously untranslated, is available to readers of English.

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