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 […]

LBF event, 8 Apr 6:30pm: Korean Literature Past and Present, with Yi Mun-yol

The second of six evening events during London Book Fair week, which unfortunately overlaps with a session with Yoon Tae-ho at the KCC Korean Literature: Past and Present 8 April, 18.30-20.00 A rare opportunity to learn about the story of Korean literature, from beautiful early printed books, many housed in the British Library, to the […]

Book review: Yi Mun-yol — Our Twisted Hero

Yi Mun-yol: Our Twisted Hero Originally published 1987 Translated by Kevin O’Rourke Available on Kindle (Minumsa, 2012) or hard copy (Hyperion Books, 2001) Moving to the provinces from a school in Seoul in which the social hierarchy was one he had lived with all his life, our twelve-year-old hero Han Pyongt’ae is faced with a […]

Yi Mun-yol: the Poet

Yi Mun-yol: The Poet Translated by Chong-wha Chung and Brother Anthony of Taizé (First published in Korea in 1992. This edition, Harvill 1995) A novel based on the life of a 19th century poet, Kim Sakkat, exploring his development as an artist against the backdrop of the insurrection by Hong Kyong-rae in the north-west. I […]

The Last Empress: spectacular but unsatisfying

The Last Empress is an original Korean musical in the style of a traditional Broadway production, and is based on the life story of Queen Min, the last Empress of the Joseon Dynasty, who was murdered by Japanese assassins in 1895. Undoubtedly patriotic in its theme, it capitalises on the popularity of the musical in […]