London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Selected translations by Chiyoung Kim

Literature and poetry in translation titles for 2021: more than a dozen to look forward to!

This is now LKL’s fifth annual post that looks at the literature and fiction titles we’re looking forward to over the coming twelve months. Since last year we’ve made things easier for ourselves by investing some time building a book database that aims to catalogue all physical publications of Korean literature in translation, as well … [Read More]

A look back at our 2020 reading diary

Like many readers, we started the year with good intention of blitzing through the pile of new titles that were promised for the coming months, as well as making inroads into the backlog. And we genuinely got off to a good start with a string of fun K-thrillers, some of them new, some not: The … [Read More]

Where to start in Korean translated literature

Note: This article was written in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Since then, particularly in 2021, some fantastic translated fiction titles have appeared. We give a round-up of them here. Nevertheless, as of end December 2021 the top ten recommendations below still stand. I do, however, need to edit the choices for … [Read More]

Book review: Marilyn and Me

Ji-min Lee: Marilyn and Me Translated by Chi-young Kim HarperCollins / 4th Estate 2019, 176pp Originally published as 나와마릴린, 2009 “Where did all the beautiful and hopeful young women go?” That was the thought that occurred to author Ji-Min Lee, looking back at the grim post-war years, and looking at a couple of photographs from … [Read More]

Review: JM Lee – The Boy who Escaped Paradise

The Boy Who Escaped Paradise J.M. Lee, translated by Chi Young Kim Pegasus, 2016, 288pp Originally published as 천국의 소년, Seoul, 2013. A fifty-year-old North Korean is found shot to death in a flat in Queens, New York; beside him is a wounded man, the presumed killer. On the floor around the bodies are mysterious … [Read More]

Jeong You-jeong in conversation at Foyles

As part of Foyles’s Korean Culture Month, leading South-Korean author Jeong You-Jeong (Seven Years of Darkness) joins them for a discussion about her work and to read from her latest novel The Good Son. Yu-jin wakes up covered in blood. There’s no sign of a break in and there’s a body downstairs. It’s the body of someone … [Read More]

Brief review: Jeong You-jeong – The Good Son

Jeong You-jeong: The Good Son Translated by Kim Chi-young Little, Brown Book Group, 2018, 322pp Originally published as 종의 기원, Eunhaengnamu, 2016 A Good Son is one of the books being hailed as the new Scandi Noir, while Amazon is billing it as “The bestselling Korean thriller of the year” – though in a Korean genre that … [Read More]

Book Review: Hwang Sunmi — The Hen who Dreamed she could Fly

Hwang Sun-mi: The Hen who dreamed she could fly Translated by Kim Chi-young; illustrations by Nomoco Oneworld Publications, 2014, 124pp First published as 마당을 나온 암탉, 2000 A brief fable that can delight children and adults alike, the story touches on themes of motherly love, discrimination, otherness, and belonging, while also touching on and accepting … [Read More]

Book Review: Your Republic is Calling You

Kim Young-ha: Your Republic is Calling You Translated by Kim Chi-young Harcourt, 2010. First published in Korean: 2006 Ki-yong, a North Korean agent, has lived undercover in Seoul for half his life. Inactive for the last 10 years, he is suddenly given an order to return home. Is the order a hoax? Is he being … [Read More]