London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

100°C: South Korea’s 1987 Democracy Movement [forthcoming]

What does it take for ordinary citizens to risk everything to protest living under a repressive government? What takes them beyond the brink, to the “boiling point”? In his graphic novel 100°C, celebrated webtoon and comics artist Choi Kyu-sok sheds a light on these questions by examining the lives of one family caught up in the great … [Read More]

The Pachinko Parlour

The days are beginning to draw in. The sky is dark by seven in the evening. I lie on the floor and gaze out of the window. Women’s calves, men’s shoes, heels trodden down by the weight of bodies borne for too long. It is summer in Tokyo. Claire finds herself dividing her time between … [Read More]

The Sorcerer of Pyongyang

Growing up amid the starvation and oppression of 1990s North Korea, 10-year-old Cho Jun-su stumbles upon a mysterious game, left behind in a hotel room by a rare foreign visitor. As Jun-su painstakingly deciphers the rules of the game in secret, he unlocks an inner world that is at first an antidote and then a … [Read More]

Beasts of a Little Land

It is 1917, and Korea is yet to be divided into north and south. With the threat of famine looming, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver’s courtesan school in cosmopolitan Pyongyang, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. But the city’s … [Read More]

The Red Palace

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood… Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, … [Read More]

K-Pop Confidential

From the publisher’s website: A Korean-American girl travels to Seoul in hopes of debuting in a girl group at the same K-pop company behind the most popular boy band on the planet, in this romantic coming-of-age novel perfect for K-pop fans everywhere! Candace Park knows a lot about playing a role. For most of her … [Read More]

If I Had Your Face

From the publisher’s website: A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania “Powerful and provocative … a novel about female strength, spirit, resilience—and the solace … [Read More]

Friend

Publisher description: Paek Nam-nyong’s Friend is a tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration of love and marriage. The novel … [Read More]

I Met Loh Kiwan

This captivating short novel follows the journey of North Korean refugee Loh Kiwan to a place where he doesn’t speak the language or understand the customs. Loh’s story of hardship and determination is gradually revealed in flashbacks by the narrator, Kim, a writer for a South Korean TV show, who learned about Loh from a … [Read More]

East Goes West

From the publisher’s website: Foreword by Alexander Chee | Afterword by Sunyoung Lee | Notes by Sunyoung Lee Having fled Japanese-occupied Korea for the gleaming promise of the United States with nothing but four dollars and a suitcase full of Shakespeare to his name, the young, idealistic Chungpa Han arrives in a New York teeming … [Read More]

The Red Years: Forbidden Poems from Inside North Korea

From the publisher’s website: Though North Korea holds the attention of the world, it is still rare for us to hear North Korean voices, beyond those few who have escaped. Known only by his pen name, the poet and author ‘Bandi’ stands as one of the most distinctive and original dissident writers to emerge from … [Read More]

Marilyn and Me

Historical fiction, based on true events, about two women who seem the most unlikely to ever meet: Alice, a Korean war survivor and translator for the American forces in Seoul, and Marilyn Monroe, who is visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour. February 1954. Although the Korean War armistice was signed a year ago, most citizens of … [Read More]

Was that Mountain Really There?

From the publisher’s website: Was that Mountain Really there? by Park Wan-Suh, an award winning and well-known Korean novelist, has recently been translated by Hannah Kim and published by Kitaab. The novel depicts the trauma of partition faced by civilians in a war that reft Korea in two. Was that Mountain Really There? portrays the … [Read More]

The Underground Village

Kang Kyeong-ae (1906-1944) was a Korean writer whose stories are remarkable for their rejection of colonialism, patriarchy, and ethnic nationalism during a period when such views were truly radical and dangerous. Born in what is now North Korea, Kang wrote all her fiction in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation and witnessed the violence and daily … [Read More]

Gendered Landscapes: Short Fiction by Modern and Contemporary Korean Women Novelists

Gendered Landscapes presents ten short stories and novellas by representative modern Korean women writers dating from the 1930s to the end of the 1990s. Signature pieces selected from the acclaimed novelists’ repertoire, these narratives address issues related to Korean women as gendered beings in a Confucian-governed patriarchal society. Thematically interlinked and compellingly articulated, they bring … [Read More]

Not My White Savior: A Memoir in Poems

A provocative and furious book about race, culture, identity and what it means to be an inter-country adoptee in America Julayne Lee was born in South Korea to a mother she never knew. When she was an infant, she was adopted by a white Christian family in Minnesota, where she was sent to grow up. Not … [Read More]