London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Book talk: Yu Miri’s The End of August

Date: Sunday 22 October 2023, 12 noon
Purcell Room | Southbank Centre | Belvedere Road | London SE1 8XX | | [Map]

Tickets: £12 | Get tickets here

Yu Miri

Join bestselling writer Yu Miri and her translator Morgan Giles as they present Yu’s latest novel to be translated into English, The End of August.

In 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea, Lee Woo-Cheol is a running prodigy and a contender for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics – but only if he runs under the Japanese flag.

Nearly a century later, his granddaughter is living in Japan and training to run a marathon herself. With the help of powerful Korean shamans, she summons the spirit of Lee Woo-Cheol only to be immersed in the memories of her grandfather, his brother, Lee Woo-Gun, and their neighbour, a young teen who was tricked into becoming a ‘comfort woman’ for Japanese soldiers.

A meditative dance of generations, The End of August is a semi-autobiographical investigation into nationhood and family – what you are born into and what is imposed. Yu’s distinct prose, rhythmically translated by Giles, explores the minutiae of generational trauma, shedding light on the postwar migration of Koreans to Japan.

A Korean author writing in Japanese, Yu Miri is the winner of Japan’s most prestigious literary prize, the Akutagawa. Several of her novels have been bestsellers, including Tokyo Ueno Station, which won the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, she relocated to Fukushima, where she hosted a radio show interviewing survivors. She has since opened a theatre and bookstore in the city of Minamisoma.

Born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, Morgan Giles is a literary translator based in Tokyo. She graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Japanese Language and Linguistics in 2009 before moving to London.

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