First Kyu

From the details at Amazon: How far would you go to be first? “BEFORE WE BEGIN… Let me tell you a story. An old story, a really old story. Do you know how to play Go? You do? First kyu, a player of the first rank? Really? Have you ever competed in a professional qualifying […]

Unyŏng-jŏn: A Love Affair at the Royal Palace of Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: This early seventeenth-century novel follows the winding path of a secret love affair and the difficulties the court lady and the poet-scholar encounter in attempting to realize their romantic dreams. According to Pettid, “The novel holds all the elements needed for a truly captivating story: love, treachery, heartbreak, danger, and friendship.” […]

Shedding of the Petals

From the description in Amazon This is a bilingual (Korean-English) poetry collection by Cho Jihoon, translated and introduced by Sung-Il Lee with two poems translated by Insoo Lee. Edited by Stanley H. Barken. This volume will timely commemorate the centennial of the birth of a twentieth-century Korean poet, Cho Jihoon (1920-1968). The poet’s perceptions of […]

Moon Pops

From the publisher’s catalogue: A witty, weird, and wonderful spin on a classic Korean folktale One sweltering summer night, while the many residents of one apartment building are struggling to fall asleep, the moon begins to melt. Granny hears it dripping and runs out to catch the moon drops in a bucket. At first unsure […]

For Nirvana: 108 Zen Sijo Poems

From the publisher’s website: For Nirvana features exceptional examples of the poet Cho Oh-Hyun’s award-winning work. Cho Oh-Hyun was born in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, Korea, and has lived in retreat in the mountains since becoming a novice monk at the age of seven. Writing under the Buddhist name Musan, he has composed hundreds of poems […]

Early Korean Literature: Selections and Introductions

From the publisher’s website: Preeminent scholar and translator David R. McCann presents an anthology of his own translations of works ranging across the major genres and authors of Korean writing—stories, legends, poems, historical vignettes, and other works—and a set of critical essays on major themes. A brief history of traditional Korean literature orients the reader […]

Fugitive Dreams – Poems by Sowol Kim

From the publisher’s website: With the appearance of this English translation, Western readers will for the first time be able to appreciate the poetry of Korea’s most revered and popular modern poet. Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, Sowol Kim was the first poet to introduce the Korean vernacular into poetry. His verse […]

On Translating Modern Korean Poetry

From the publisher’s website: On Translating Modern Korean Poetry is a research monograph exploring the intricacies and complexities of translating modern Korean poetry. This monograph highlights the difficulties entailed in translating Korean poetry, due to the lexical, structural, social, expressive and attitudinal levels with which the translator must be engaged. Featuring all-new translations, this book explores […]

Happy Together (K-Fiction 029)

From the Interpark bookstore website (fed through the Google translation engine): The twenty-ninth work of K-fiction. This is a short story by Seo Jang-won that has been drawing attention by steadily publishing good works since his debut as the Dong-A Ilbo New Year’s Literature in 2020. Like in the previous works that carefully captured the […]

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 […]

Re-evolution: Selected Poems by Kim Chi-ha

From the publisher’s website: Kim Chi-ha is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets and thinkers in modern Korean history. Throughout the 1970s, as a symbol of the ‘resistance’ movement against the Park Chung-hee dictatorship, he was forced to live a life of fleeing, wandering, imprisonment and torture, leading up to a death sentence. […]

Prayer: Poems of Kim Je-hyun

From the publisher’s website: Kim Jehyun, a sijo poet, was born in 1939 in the city of Jangheung in Korea’s Southern Cholla Province. After graduating from Hongik University, he has devoted himself to poetry with an emphasis in the sijo. He first received notice at Chosun Ilbo’s 1960 Spring Literary Contest. Kim’s first collection of […]

Far-Off Saint: poems of Cho O-hyun

From the publisher’s website: Cho O-hyun, a Buddhist monk and poet, was born in 1932. He became a Buddhist monk in 1958, and started his literacy career in 1966. He has become one of the prominent figures in the literary world and has been awarded several prestigious prizes in Korea. Currently, he is the director […]

Literature from the “Axis of Evil”

From the publisher’s website: “The governments might be considered quote unquote the enemy, but definitely not the people. These stories and poems offer an alternate view, which is very different from the politicized and polarized view of these nations.” —Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran Subject of a full-length segment on Morning Edition […]

Bruised Fruit

“The sixty-something female killer Hornclaw, who’s been making a living as a professional killer, might come off as an ordinary woman at first sight, but is an intimidating person with quite the muscle and ammunition. I couldn’t hope for a better heroine–a truly powerful character with an aging human body.”

The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories

From the publisher’s website: This eclectic, moving and wonderfully enjoyable collection is the essential introduction to Korean literature. Journeying through Korea’s dramatic twentieth century, from the Japanese occupation and colonial era, to the devastating war between north and south and the rapid, disorienting urbanization of later decades, The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories captures a […]