Book review: Kim Young-ha – Diary of a Murderer

Kim Young-ha: Diary of a Murderer and other stories Translated by Krys Lee Mariner Books, 2019, 200pp Originally published as 살인자의 기억법, Munhakdongne, 2013 Somewhat rashly, I approach Kim Young-ha’s novels with a keen sense of anticipation, particularly when translated by Krys Lee. Rashly, because with high expectations you usually set yourself up for a […]

Upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2019

Here’s my first attempt at compiling a list of fiction and poetry titles coming up in 2019. Let me know what I’ve missed. Unlike my separate list of non-fiction I have not exercised any editorial control here: this is everything I have been able to find. The list is in four parts: Modern and contemporary […]

LKFF 2018 Teaser Screening #2: Memoir of a Murderer

The second LKFF2018 Teaser screening is Won Shin-yeon’s adaptation of Kim Young-ha’s Memoir of a Murderer: Memoir of a Murderer (살인자의 기억법) Dir Won Shin-yeon (2017, 118min) With Sol Kyung-gu, Kim Nam-gil, Kim Seol-hyun Monday 21 May 2018, 7pm | Regent Street Cinema | Book tickets Serial killers are popular figures in South Korean cinema, […]

A look back at some of the books of 2017

This year, I haven’t even come close to keeping up with the volume of newly-published literature in translation, let alone the plethora of new non-fiction. Perhaps to balance my feelings of guilt at falling behind the pace of new publications, I’ve tried to make inroads into my guilt pile in respect of previous years – […]

On reading Han Kang’s White Book by the pool

In general, I tend not to read much literary fiction. If I’m reading stuff which is unrelated to Korea, it’s likely to be either non-fiction or easy reading – a detective story or something reasonably lightweight. When it comes to Korea-related reading, until relatively recently the balance has again been in favour of non-fiction. But […]

Film review: Memoir of a Murderer

Memoir of a Murderer asks us to step inside the mind of someone who is losing his memory, a sufferer of Alzheimer’s disease. The movie opens with a scene focusing on the face of a gaunt and aged-looking Sol Kyung-gu as single dad Kim Byung-soo. As we watch, his face begins to twitch. At first […]

Book review: Waxen Wings

Waxen Wings: The ACTA Koreana Anthology of Short Fiction from Korea Edited by Bruce Fulton Koryo Press, 2011, 238pp There are plenty of anthologies of Korean translated fiction available, and many of them are edited and / or translated by Bruce Fulton, usually with Ju-Chan Fulton involved in the project too. I recently enjoyed the […]

LBF sketch: Kim Young-ha at the London Book Fair: always adapting to a new environment

Kim Young-ha attended three London events during the this year’s London Book Fair: a conversation with writer Krys Lee on 8 April, a panel session with Kim In-suk and others on 9 April entitled  Writing Home: Migrant Literature, and a discussion with Daniel Hahn at the London Review Bookshop on 11 April. The below is a digest of those sessions. Introduction, themes, […]

London Book Fair, day 2

Day 2 of the London Book Fair, in which: Han Kang said very nice things about her translator (Deborah Smith) and Shin Kyung-sook called hers her “twin soul”; We discovered that Kim Young-ha was about to start writing a historical novel set in the Joseon dynasty, only to find out that Kim Insuk had already […]