London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Song of Arirang: The Story of a Korean Rebel Revolutionary in China [forthcoming]

From the publisher’s website: Song of Arirang tells the true story of Korean revolutionary Kim San (Jang Jirak), who left colonized Korea as a teenager to fight against Japanese imperialism and fought alongside Mao’s Red Army during the Chinese Revolution. First published in 1941, this remarkably intimate memoir (as told to the American journalist Nym … [Read More]

Reflections from Prison: 20 Years and 20 Days

Reflections from Prison is a collection of letters and essays from renowned Korean thinker Shin Young-Bok written during his 20 years as a political prisoner under the military government. ​The letters range from post cards to tiny characters squeezed onto his Army Prison daily ration of two sheets of toilet paper. They provide a window not … [Read More]

The North Korean Conundrum: Balancing Human Rights and Nuclear Security

North Korea is consistently identified as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. However, the issue of human rights in North Korea is a complex one, intertwined with issues like life in the North Korean police state, inter-Korean relations, denuclearization, access to information in the North, and international cooperation, to name a few. There … [Read More]

The Letters of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon

Our translations of the 20 or so letters written by Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon during the 4 years of travel and adventure prior to his death in 1846 have now been published by The Research Foundation of Korean Church History, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth on August 21, 1821. In addition to the … [Read More]

Korean Art from 1953: Collision, Innovation, Interaction

Publisher description: Starting with the armistice that divided the Korean Peninsula in 1953, this one-of-a-kind book spotlights the artistic movements and collectives that have flourished and evolved throughout Korean culture over the past seven decades – from the 1950s avant-garde through to the feminist scene in the 1970s, the birth of the Gwangju Biennale in … [Read More]

Zainichi Literature

From the publisher’s website: This collection of translated works highlights a selection of writings in translation by Zainichi (diasporic Koreans in Japan). The introduction provides an historical overview of Zainichi diasporic identity; the concluding appendix considers the figure of Kin Kakuei and the flourishing Zainichi literature in the 1960s. Authors whose works are translated and … [Read More]

The Aphorisms of Yi Deok-mu: Musings of a Grateful Reader

From the publisher’s website: This volume brings together excerpts from Seongyuldang nongso [蟬橘堂濃笑: The Inexorable Glee of Master Seongyuldang] and Imokgusimseo [耳目口心書: First-hand Observations] by the 18th-century scholar Yi Deok-mu. Seongyuldang nongso is a collection of Yi’s observations about life. In Imokgusimseo, Yi writes about what he heard, saw, said, and felt in the day-to-day. … [Read More]

North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Literature (VOLUME Book 4)

North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Center is the 144th member of PEN International. Since defecting from North Korea because of their opposition to the dynastic dictatorship, the members of the center have been creating literature that depicts the harsh reality of North Korea and engaging in various activities to improve conditions there. The single … [Read More]

Belief and Practice in Imperial Japan and Colonial Korea

Bringing together the work of leading scholars of religion in imperial Japan and colonial Korea, this collection addresses the complex ways in which religion served as a site of contestation and negotiation among different groups, including the Korean Choson court, the Japanese colonial government, representatives of different religions, and Korean and Japanese societies. It considers … [Read More]

Classical Writings of Korean Women

This work is a collection of essays travelogues written by women during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The work ranges from a eulogy for a broken needle to a travelogue describing various trips to scenic spots on the Korean peninsula, including to the Keum-Gang Mountains. Now available in English, this collection gives us a sampler of … [Read More]

Seeking Order in a Tumultuous Age: The Writings of Chŏng Tojŏn, a Korean Neo-Confucian

From the publisher’s website: Chŏng Tojŏn, one of the most influential thinkers in Korean history, played a leading role in the establishment of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910). Long recognized for his contributions to the development of Neo-Confucianism in Korea, Chŏng was both a prodigious writer and an influential statesman before being murdered in a political … [Read More]

My Korea: Forty Years without a Horsehair Hat

From the publisher’s website: A  fascinating and highly personal introduction to Korea. Part memoir, part miscellany, it introduces traditional and contemporary Korean culture through a series of essays, stories, anecdotes and poems. Confucianism, Buddhism, relationships, everyday living, language and literature are comprehensively covered. Read a discussion by Colin Marshall in the LA Review of Books … [Read More]

Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era

From the publisher’s website: This volume contains translations — many appearing for the first time in the English language — of major literary, critical, and historical essays from the colonial period (1910–1945) in Korea. Considered representative of the debates among and between Korean and Japanese thinkers of the colonial period, these texts shed light on … [Read More]

Division System in Crisis

From the publisher’s website: Paik Nak-chung is one of Korea’s most incisive contemporary public intellectuals. By training a literary scholar, he is perhaps best known as an eloquent cultural and political critic. This volume represents the first book-length collection of his writings in English. Paik’s distinctive theme is the notion of a “division system” on the … [Read More]

Eastern Sentiments

From the publisher’s website: The Confucian gentleman scholars of the Choson dynasty (1392-1910) often published short anecdotes exemplifying their values and aesthetic concerns. In modern Seoul one scholar in particular would excel at adapting this style to a contemporary readership: Yi T’aejun. Yi T’aejun was a prolific and influential writer of colonial Korea and an … [Read More]

Epistolary Korea: Letters in the Communicative Space of the Choson, 1392-1910

From the publisher’s website: By expanding the definition of “epistle” to include any writing that addresses the intended receiver directly, JaHyun Kim Haboush introduces readers to the rich epistolary practice of Chosŏn Korea. The Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910) produced an abundance of epistles, writings that mirror the genres of neighboring countries (especially China) while retaining their … [Read More]