London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

August Literature Night: Pachinko and Kim Jiyoung Born 1982

After a hiatus of a couple of months, the KCC’s Korean Literature Night series reconvenes in August. The titles being discussed, on the face of it, look like strange bedfellows, and it will be interesting to see how the discussion evolves. You can read LKL’s thoughts on Kim Jiyoung here.

Pachinko and Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982: Reading with Jieun Kiaer

Date: Wednesday 3 August 2022, 7pm - 8pm
Venue: Online | Tickets: Free |

Cover art for Pachinko and Kim Ji Young Born 1982

This August we will read the novel ‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee and ‘Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982’ by Cho Nam-Joo. 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 (Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics, University of Oxford) will moderate the discussion. We will be discussing Korean literature and dramas in depth by comparing the novel Pachinko alongside the drama of the same name.


Yeongdo, Korea 1911.

In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife.

Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story.

Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is the Korean sensation that has got the whole world talking. The life story of one young woman born at the end of the twentieth century raises questions about endemic misogyny and institutional oppression that are relevant to us all.


Prof. Jieun Kiaer

Prof 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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