London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The End of August

A multi-generational, multilingual epic by the National Book Award Winner and bestselling author and translator of Tokyo Ueno Station In 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea, Lee Woo-Cheol was a running prodigy and a contender for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. But he would have had to run under the Japanese flag. Nearly a century later,  his  granddaughter, living … [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]

Winter in Sokcho

Publisher description: It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down. Bodies are red and raw, the fish turn venomous, beyond the beach guns point out from the North’s watchtowers. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One … [Read More]

Tokyo Ueno Station

From the publisher’s website: Finalist, the 2020 National Book Awards Winner, TA First Translation Prize Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, Kazu’s life is tied by a series of coincidences to Japan’s Imperial family and to one particular spot in Tokyo; the park near Ueno Station – the same place … [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]

Bitna: Under the Sky of Seoul

Publisher description: The French writer and Nobel Literature laureate J. M. G. Le Clézio has harbored a keen interest in Korea that not only prompted him to learn and master the Korean language on his own but also inspired his new novel. Bitna: Under the Sky of Seoul is Le Clézio’s portrait of Seoul—its people and its … [Read More]

Into the Light: An Anthology of Literature by Koreans in Japan

From the publisher’s website: Into the Light is the first anthology to introduce the fiction of Japan’s Korean community (Zainichi Koreans) to the English-speaking world. The collection brings together works by many of the most important Zainichi Korean writers of the twentieth century, from the colonial-era “Into the Light” (1939) by Kim Sa-ryang to “Full House” … [Read More]

The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost

Publisher description: The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost incorporates Korean folk tales, ghost stories, and myth into a phenomenal depiction of epic tragedy. Written by a zainichi, a permanent resident of Japan who is not of Japanese ancestry, the novel tells the story of Mandogi, a young priest living on the island of Cheju-do. Mandogi becomes unwittingly … [Read More]

Kannani and Document of Flames: Two Japanese Colonial Novels

Publisher description: This volume makes available for the first time in English two of the most important novels of Japanese colonialism: Yuasa Katsuei’s Kannani and Document of Flames. Born in Japan in 1910 and raised in Korea, Yuasa was an eyewitness to the ravages of the Japanese occupation. In both of the novels presented here, he is clearly … [Read More]

The Clan Records

Publisher’s description: Although little known in the West, Kajiyama Toshiyuki was one of Japan’s most prolific and popular writers. Celebrated for his crisp, fast-paced style and incisive analysis, Kajiyama’s popularity may be attributed to his finely tuned sense of what many Japanese felt but could not articulate: the feeling of irreplaceable loss that lay beneath … [Read More]