London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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I Went to See My Father [forthcoming]

An instant bestseller in Korea and the follow up to the international bestseller, Please Look After Mom; centering on a woman’s efforts to reconnect with her aging father, uncovering long-held family secrets. Two years after losing her daughter in a tragic accident, Hon finally returns to her home in the countryside to take care of … [Read More]

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

THE PHENOMENAL KOREAN BESTSELLER PSYCHIATRIST: So how can I help you? ME: I don’t know, I’m – what’s the word – depressed? Do I have to go into detail? Baek Se-Hee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her – what to call it? … [Read More]

Beyond Birth: Social Status in the Emergence of Modern Korea

The social structure of contemporary Korea contains strong echoes of the hierarchical principles and patterns governing stratification in the Choson dynasty (1392-1910): namely, birth and one’s position in the bureaucracy. At the beginning of Korea’s modern era, the bureaucracy continued to exert great influence, but developments undermined, instead of reinforced, aristocratic dominance. Furthermore, these changes … [Read More]

It’s OK, Slow Lizard

In a lush, sun-dappled forest, animal friends discover the advantages of living slowly, in this soothing picture book from beloved South Korean author and illustrator Yeorim Yoon and Jian Kim. Little Bird is all aflutter―too many things to do. Elephant cries with frustration when a shoelace breaks. Rabbit tries so hard and loses the race … [Read More]

The Three Water Drop Brothers

Graphically gorgeous, with sweetness and flair, this is a book to get any kid hooked on the wonders of the water cycle! A long, long time ago, when the earth was extremely hot, a huge amount of vapor was released, creating clouds. As the clouds got bigger and heavier, it started to rain. Three of … [Read More]

The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un

North Korea is poised at the crossroads of history. Which direction will its leader take? Throughout the world, oppressive regimes are being uprooted and replaced by budding democracies, but one exception remains: The People’s Republic of North Korea. The Kim family has clung to power for three generations by silencing dissidents, ruling with an iron … [Read More]

Modern Korea: All That Matters

In no nation on earth has history accelerated with such speed as in Korea. A medieval dynasty at the end of the 19th century, it underwent a traumatic colonization, then, in its hour of liberation was divided by the great powers at the end of World War II. Devastated by a fratricidal war, the peninsula … [Read More]

North Korea’s Juche Myth

For decades the North Korean regime has preached a virulent race-nationalism to its own people. At the same time, however, it has succeeded in making outsiders believe that it is guided by a solipsistic, inward-directed ideology of self-reliant communism. This in turn has nurtured the wishful assumption that the regime no longer has serious designs … [Read More]

One Day

A gentle, delicately illustrated story about loss that has a cosmic dimension. A boy’s grandfather goes away suddenly, never to return. How could he leave so suddenly? His smell remains in his sweater, and his shoes are there to be worn. Plus, his friends at the fountain just saw him! The boy lingers in the … [Read More]

I am the Subway

A cinematic journey through the Seoul subway that masterfully portrays the many unique lives we travel alongside whenever we take the train. A poetic translation of the bestselling Korean picture book. Accompanied by the constant, rumbling ba-dum ba-dum of its passage through the city, the subway has stories to tell. Between sunrise and sunset, it welcomes and … [Read More]

Concerning My Daughter

When a mother allows her thirty-something daughter to move into her apartment, she wants for her what many mothers might say they want for their child: a steady income, and, even better, a good husband with a good job with whom to start a family. But when Green turns up with her girlfriend, Lane, in … [Read More]

Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop

South Korea has the most remarkable of histories. Born from the ashes of colonialism, partition and a devastating war, back in the 1950s there were real doubts about its survival as an independent state. Yet South Korea did survive, and first became known globally for the export of cheap toys, shoes and clothing. Today, South … [Read More]

The Rebel and the Kingdom: The True Story of the Secret Mission to Overthrow the North Korean Regime [forthcoming]

A gripping account of an Ivy League activist-turned-fugitive and his clandestine effort to overthrow the murderous North Korean regime, a heart-pounding investigation into personal agency and the price of freedom from the New York Times bestselling co-author of Billion Dollar Whale In the early 2000s Adrian Hong was a soft-spoken undergraduate at Yale who, like … [Read More]

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as … [Read More]

Korean: A Linguistic Introduction

In this accessible survey, two leading specialists introduce a broad range of topics in Korean linguistics, including the general historical background of the language, its phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics, and the interfaces between those areas. Expertly written and drawing on the authors’ many years of experience, the book answers questions such … [Read More]

Supercorporate: Distinction and Participation in Post-Hierarchy South Korea

What should South Korean offices look like in a post-hierarchical world? In Supercorporate, anthropologist Michael M. Prentice examines a central tension in visions of big corporate life in South Korea’s twenty-first century: should corporations be sites of fair distinction or equal participation? As South Korea distances itself from images and figures of a hierarchical past, Prentice … [Read More]