London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Literary talk with author Yun Ko-eun and translator Lizzie Buehler

The KCC seems to be getting into a nice rhythm of mid-day talks featuring Korean authors and their recent translations. This month, Yun Ko-eun’s Disaster Tourist (밤의 여행자들, 2013. LKL review here).

The Disaster Tourist

Wednesday 21st October 12noon-1:30pm
Venue: ZOOM (Online)
Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to [email protected] with your name and contact details by 7th October. More details and important privacy information on KCC website.

Disaster Tourist graphic
image credit: designer Sinem Erkas, Publisher Serpent’s Tail

As part of our Korean Literature Night, author Yun Ko-Eun will join us for a discussion about her work ‘The Disaster Tourist’, a satirical Korean eco-thriller with a fierce feminist sensibility. The talk will be moderated by Lizzie Buehler, who translated ‘The Disaster Tourist’. Following the talk, Yun Ko-Eun will respond to questions from the audience.

The Disaster Tourist

Yona has been stuck behind a desk for years working as a programming coordinator for Jungle, a travel company specialising in package holidays to destinations ravaged by disaster. When a senior colleague touches her inappropriately she tries to complain, and in an attempt to bury her allegations, the company make her an attractive proposition: a free ticket for one of their most sought-after trips, to the desert island of Mui.

She accepts the offer and travels to the remote island, where the major attraction is a supposedly-dramatic sinkhole. When the customers who’ve paid a premium for the trip begin to get frustrated, Yona realises that the company has dangerous plans to fabricate an environmental catastrophe to make the trip more interesting, but when she tries to raise the alarm, she discovers that she has put her own life in danger.

Yun Ko-Eun is the author of several novels and short story collections published in Korea. Her short story ‘Piercing’ won the Daesan Literary Award for College Students the year she graduated from university. She received the 2008 Hankyorek Literature Award for her novel The Zero G Syndrome and in 2015 her short story collection Aloha won the Kim Yong Ik Novel Prize. The Disaster Tourist is her second book to be published in English. She lives in Seoul.

Lizzie Buehler studied comparative literature and creative writing at Princeton University and hold an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa. She worked as a freelance translator and assistant editor at Asymptote. Lizzie’s translations from Korean appear in The Massachusetts Review, Asymptote, Korean Literature Now, Litro, and Azalea. Her translation of Table for One by Yun Ko Eun is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.


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