London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Bluebeard’s First Wife: Ha Seong-nan in conversation with Janet Hong

March’s literature event sponsored by the KCC features Ha Seong-nan and her translator Janet Hong. As always, pre-registration is required.

Bluebeard’s First Wife

Wednesday 24 March 2021 12 noon -1:30pm (GMT)
Venue: ZOOM (Online)
Entrance Free – Booking Essential
Apply to [email protected] with your name and contact details by 15th March.

Bluebeard's First Wife

Disasters, accidents, and deaths abound in Bluebeard’s First Wife. A woman spends a night with her fiancé and his friends, and overhears a terrible secret that has bound them together since high school. A man grows increasingly agitated by the apartment noise made by a young family living upstairs and arouses the suspicion of his own wife when the neighbors meet a string of unlucky incidents. A couple moves into a picture-perfect country house, but when their new dog is stolen, they become obsessed with finding the thief, and in the process, neglect their child. Ha’s paranoia-inducing, heart-quickening stories will have you reconsidering your own neighbors.

Bluebeard’s First Wife was named in the U.S. weekly news magazine Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Books of 2020. This is the second time for a Korean book to have made the list, following Han Kang’s “Vegetarian” in 2016.

Ha Seong-nan is the author of five short story collections — including Bluebeard’s First Wife and Flowers of Mold — and three novels. Over her career, she’s received a number of prestigious awards, such as the Dong-in Literary Award in 1999, Hankook Ilbo Literary Prize in 2000, the Isu Literature Prize in 2004, the Oh Yeong-su Literary Award in 2008, and the Contemporary Literature (Hyundae Munhak) Award in 2009.

Janet Hong is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. She has been translating literary works by notable Korean writers, including Kang Young-sook, Han Yu-joo and Kwon Yeo-sun, for the last 20 years. Her work has appeared in Brick: A Literary Journal, Literary Hub, Asia Literary Review, Words Without Borders, and the Korea Times.


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