London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

March Korean Literature Night: The Road to Sampo

The last few literature nights have focused on books that are hot off the press. March brings a classic 1973 short story by Hwang Sok-yong. As it won’t take you long to read, the KCC is setting you some extra preparation work: go along to their film night on 24 March to watch the new 4K restoration of Lee Man-hee’s 1975 adaptation of the story – the last film he made. The discussion at the end of the month will include a compare and contrast.

March Korean Literature Night: The Road to Sampo

by Hwang Sok-yong; a discussion led by Dr Jieun Kiaer
Date: Wednesday 30 March 2022, 7pm - 8pm GMT
Venue: Online |
Registration required by Wednesday 9 March
Book cover of Road to Sampo, including a photo of the author

This March we will read the novel ‘The Road to Sampo’ by Hwang Sok-yong. This month will also feature a special discussion Zoom event, with all participants able to turn on the camera, speak, and discuss the work during the talk. Prof. Jieun Kiaer (Associate Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics, University of Oxford) will moderate the discussion. We will be discussing Korean literature and movies in depth by comparing the novel The Road to Sampo alongside the movie of the same name.

About the book

The two pieces that have permanently enshrined Hwang Sok-yong in the pantheon of Korean literature are ‘Away From Home‘ and ‘The Road to Sampo‘. Published in 1973, ‘The Road to Sampo‘ completes the literary journey that ‘Away From Home‘ begins. It’s written as a travel diary, logging life on the road. ‘The Road to Sampo‘ portrays the lives of labourers who wander through the ever-changing landscape of Korea’s mid industrialization, longing for the physical and spiritual homes that they have left behind.

About the author

Born in 1943 Hwang Sok-yong is arguably Korea’s most renowned author. He is the recipient of Korea’s highest literary prizes including the Manhae Literary Prize, the Danjae Literary Prize, the Isan Literary Prize, the Daesan Literature Prize for THE GUEST, the Manhae Literary Award Grand Prize, the Korea Culture and Arts Foundation ‘This Year’s’ Art Prize, the Mark of Respect Award and was shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger. His novel The Road to Sampo (1973) was made into a successful film and has recently been reissued in French by Editions Philippe Picquier.

About the moderator

Prof Jieun Kiaer has widely published on Korean Language and Linguistics in English. Her recent publication includes Korean Literature through Korean Wave (with Anna Yates-Lu, Routledge) and Understanding Korean Film: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, Routledge, UK.

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