April literature night: The Court Dancer, by Shin Kyung-sook

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. Shin Kyung-sook: The Court Dancer Wedneday 24 April 2019, 19.00-21.00 @KCCUK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Sunday 7th April. […]

A look back at the 2018 literary year

A look back at the books and literary events of the year – and a summary of my reading diary. Literature in translation In translated fiction, my reading this year has not managed anywhere near to keep pace with the amount of translations being published. I know I said the same in respect of 2017 […]

Book review: Shin Kyung-sook – The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness

Shin Kyung-sook: The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness Translated by Jung Ha-yun Pegasus Book, New York, 2015, 369pp Originally published as 외딴방, Munhakdongne, 1995 When reading Ahn Jung-hyo’s White Badge, I found myself wondering why, despite what I thought was my general antipathy to novels with listless central characters who can’t seem to find their way […]

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 […]

Korean Women on screen, between the covers

As many readers might know, I recently gave a talk at the British Korean Women’s Society on a pretty risky topic: I was asked to give a Western male’s perspective on Korean women.  I decided to play it relatively safe, and discuss the topic through the lens of Korean novels, films and artworks that are accessible […]

Book review: Shin Kyung-sook — I’ll be right there

Shin Kyung-sook: I’ll Be Right There Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Other Press, New York, 2014, 325pp Originally published as 어디선가 나를 찾는 전화벨이 울리고, Somewhere A Phone Is Ringing For Me, 2010 There are people who liked Shin Kyung-sook’s most famous work – Please Look After Mother – and those that didn’t. In the latter […]

Shin Kyung-sook seeks to withdraw short story

Wow – this all happened very quickly. On 17 June author Lee Eung-jun wrote an article in Huffington Post Korea (in Korean) accusing Shin Kyung-sook of plagiarism: Shin is “an author whose works are often accused of plagiarism” and that he decided to risk his career by publishing the article as he wanted the allegations […]

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 […]