London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Booklist: notable titles from 2023

Here is a list of titles published in 2023 that we’ve been tracking and even hoping to read: literature in translation, Korea-related fiction and poetry in English, plus notable non-fiction titles.

Sorted by date of publication, most recent first.

The Late and Post-Dictatorship Cinephilia Boom and Art Houses in South Korea

Examines the 1990s growth of art film exhibition, consumption, and cinephilia within South Korean cinema. This book is a narrative history of art film exhibition and cinephilia in post-dictatorship South Korea It is the first study to consider the practical, cultural, and social experience of cinema-going during a formative period of Korean film history It ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

At Night he Lifts Weights

A disquieting vision of ecological dystopia in a collection by a major Korean writer. An artist is plagued by desire for her mysterious double as disease spreads through an uncanny suburban landscape. An elderly woman suspects the old man who lifts weights in her neighborhood playground of being responsible for a spate of murders. While ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Sociolinguistics of the Korean Wave: Hallyu and Soft Power

Samosir and Wee examine how the immensely popular Korean Wave (“K-wave”) also known as Hallyu is wielded as soft power through the use of communication for persuasion and attraction on the global stage. The Korean Wave refers to the global spread and popularity of South Korean culture, particularly its pop music (“K-pop”), serialised dramas (“K-dramas”) ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Love Songs Sung with the Body

I want to love, I want to hug, I want to be together, I want to be together and look at the same place, but it doesn’t work out. It seems to work but it doesn’t, it seems to work but it doesn’t work. It’s not just an erotic relationship. The appearance of thirst among ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

I’ll write again tomorrow

May my poetry not lean on plausible deniability, may it not mask or embellish the present me with the past me that has already passed. I hope the things I get angry about don’t harden into conventions, and I hope the things I love are written down waiting to be deepened. From“ Poet’s Essay” He ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The United States-South Korea Alliance: Why It May Fail and Why It Must Not

The alliance between the United States and South Korea has endured through seven decades of shifting regional and geopolitical security contexts. Yet it now faces challenges from within. Domestic political turmoil, including deepening political polarization and rising nationalism in both countries, has cast doubt on the alliance’s viability—with critical implications for the balance of power ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Moral Authoritarianism: Neighborhood Associations in the Three Koreas, 1931–1972

Moral Authoritarianism offers a new perspective on the three modern Korean states—the Japanese colonial state, South Korea, and North Korea—by studying neighborhood associations during the four war decades (1930s–1960s). The existing historiography perceives the three states in relation to imperialism and to the Cold War, thus emphasizing their differences by political changes. By shifting the focus ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Parting After Parting (K- Poet 34)

Poet Jang Seok-won’s “Farewell After Farewell” in K-Poet Series, Songs that Begin with Revolution and Love Once Again Poet Jang Seok-won’s sixth collection of poems, 『Farewell After Farewell』, a poet who loves music and poetry, has been published in the 34th volume of the K-Poet Series. In 2002, the poet joined the Korea Daily (now ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Rock Is Thunder (K-Poet 35)

Poet Lee Jae-hoon’s “Stones Are Thunder” Lending Tears to the Silent Poet Lee Jae-hoon’s fifth collection of poems, “Stones Are Thunder,” will be published as the 35th volume of the K-Poet series. Poet Lee Jae-hoon began his career in 1998 with Contemporary Poetry and has published poetry collections such as My First Report on the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Emergence of Korean English: How Korea’s Dynamic English is Born

Emergence of Korean English explores the dynamic nature of emerging Korean English and its impact on Korean society, culture, and identity. This book challenges the negative stereotypes and stigmatization of Konglish and argues that it has been a great asset for Korea’s fast economic development. The fate of Korean English has been transformed in the time ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Consultant

Sometimes work can be murder… The Consultant is very good at his job. He creates simple, elegant, effective solutions for… restructuring. Nothing obvious or messy. Certainly nothing anyone would ever suspect as murder. The ‘natural deaths’ he plans have always gone well: a medicine replaced here, a mechanism jammed there. His performance reviews are excellent. ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Transnationalism and Migration in Global Korea: History, Politics, and Sociology, 1910 to the Present

Contrary to the image of Korea as a largely self-contained country until its economy became global during the 1990s, this book shows that transnationalism has firmly been part of modern Korea’s national experience throughout its existence. The volume portrays Korea’s frequent transnational entanglements with other nations in East Asia and the West from the start ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Borderland Dreams: The Transnational Lives of Korean Chinese Workers

In Borderland Dreams June Hee Kwon explores the trajectory of the “Korean dream” that has fueled the massive migration of Korean Chinese workers from the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in northeast China to South Korea since the early 1990s. Charting the interplay of bodies, money, and time, the ethnography reveals how these migrant workers, in ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Gospel for Workers: Cho Chi Song, Yeongdeungpo Urban Industrial Mission, and Minjung

This book tells three overlapping stories: first, the life story of Rev. Cho Chi Song, a pioneer of urban and industrial missions, which served Korean society’s working population; second, the Urban Industrial Mission (UIM) in Korea, which Cho Chi Song pioneered; and third, the story of how UIM provided the roots for Korean Minjung Theology. ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Can’t I go instead?

From the author of The Picture Bride, two women’s lives and identities are intertwined — through World War II and the Korean War — revealing the harsh realities of class division in the early part of the 20th century. Can’t I Go Instead follows the lives of the daughter of a Korean nobleman and her maidservant in ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

DallerGut Dream Department Store

In a mysterious town that lies hidden in our collective subconscious, there’s a quaint little store where all kinds of dreams are sold . . . Day and night, visitors both human and animal from all over the world shuffle in sleepily in their pyjamas, lining up to purchase their latest adventure. Each floor in ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Liberators

At the height of the military dictatorship in South Korea, Insuk and Sungho are arranged to be married. The couple soon moves to San Jose, California, with an infant and Sungho’s overbearing mother-in-law. Adrift in a new country, Insuk grieves the loss of her past and her divided homeland, finding herself drawn into an illicit ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Same Bed Different Dreams

A wild, sweeping novel that imagines an alternate secret history of Korea and the traces it leaves on the present—loaded with assassins and mad poets, RPGs and slasher films, pop bands and the perils of social media In 1919, far-flung patriots establish the Korean Provisional Government to protest the Japanese occupation of their country. This ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

ReFocus: The Films of Yim Soon-rye

Highlights the cinematic oeuvre of Yim Soon-rye, one of the most influential Korean female filmmakers First comprehensive English-language book on Yim Soon-rye and her films, placing her within the larger perspectives of Korean cinematic history and women’s cinema First English volume on any Korean woman filmmaker, that calls for a need to address the work ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Red Decades: Communism as Movement and Culture in Korea, 1919–1945

Focusing on previously neglected cultural expressions of colonial-period Korean socialism such as Marxist philosophy, Marxist historiography, and travelogues by socialist writers, The Red Decades reveals Marxian socialism as a cultural phenomenon of colonial-age Korea. Providing an account of the social composition of the Communist milieu in 1920s and 1930s Korea and outlining the aims of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Making of Modern Subjects: Public Discourses on Korean Female Spectators in the Early Twentieth Century

Under Japanese colonial rule in the early 20th century, Korean women began to expand their realm from the domestic to the public sphere. Sung Un Gang examines how the women’s gaze was reimagined in public discourse as they began attending plays and movies, and investigates the complex negotiation process surrounding women’s public presence. As the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop

There was only one thing on her mind. I must start a bookshop. Yeong-ju did everything she was supposed to, go to university, marry a decent man, get a respectable job. Then it all fell apart. Burned out, Yeong-ju abandons her old life, quits her high-flying career, divorces her husband, and follows her dream. She ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

My Life as An Architect in Seoul

The second book in the ‘My Life as an Architect’ series, looking at the Seoul buildings that have shaped the practice and outlook of the celebrated Korean architect Byoung Cho. Since founding his practice BCHO Architects Associates in Seoul in 1994, Byoung Cho has built a reputation as the key architect driving the expansion of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Political Moods: Film Melodrama and the Cold War in the Two Koreas

Melodrama films dominated the North and South Korean industries in the period between liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945 and the hardening of dictatorship in the 1970s. The films of each industry are often read as direct reflections of Cold War and Korean War political ideologies and national historical experiences, and therefore as aesthetically ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Afterlives of Letters: The Transnational Origins of Modern Literature in China, Japan, and Korea

When East Asia opened itself to the world in the nineteenth century, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean intellectuals had shared notions of literature because of the centuries-long cultural exchanges in the region. As modernization profoundly destabilized cultural norms, they ventured to create new literature for the new era. Satoru Hashimoto offers a novel way of understanding ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

East Asia Observed: Selected Writings 1973-2021

This collection brings together themes in East Asian history, diplomacy, culture and politics written by J E Hoare since the early 1970s. His writings derive from his training as a historian, from his time as a Research Analyst in the British Foreign Office from 1969-2003, and from his experiences as a diplomat in the Republic ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Film Korea: The Ghibliotheque guide to the wonderful world of Korean cinema

Explore the magical, mysterious world of Korean cinema, in this new book from the authors of Ghibliotheque. From smash hits such as Parasite to cult favourites Oldboy, The Handmaiden and Train to Busan, Korean cinema is a hotbed of creative talent and the force behind the most exciting, captivating filmmaking in the world right now. In this essential guide to the country’s cinematic ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

South Korea’s Grand Strategy: Making Its Own Destiny

Since the end of the Cold War, South Korea has taken on a greater role in global affairs. Ramon Pacheco Pardo provides a groundbreaking analysis of South Korea’s foreign policy from its transition to democracy in the late 1980s through the present day, arguing that the country’s approach to the world constitutes a grand strategy. ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korean Women Philosophers and the Ideal of a Female Sage: Essential Writings of Im Yungjidang and Gang Jeongildang

Korean Women Philosophers and the Ideal of a Female Sage introduces the lives and ideas of two female Korean Confucian philosophers from the late Joseon Dynasty (18th-19th century), Im Yunjidang (1721-1793) and Gang Jeongildang (1772-1832), examining how their writings contribute to contemporary philosophical inquiry. Both philosophers are known for arguing that women are as capable as ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Owl Cries

From the Shirley Jackson Award–winning author of The Hole, a slow-burning noir thriller with a touch of horror and the uncanny. A lawyer asking questions. A disappearance. And a vast forest in the mountains—the western woods—where the trees huddle close together, emanating a crushing darkness, while a chill dampness fills the air. The forester, Bak ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Korean Cookbook

350 authentic and delicious Korean recipes for the home cook, written by the perfect guides to this extraordinary cuisine – an acclaimed Korean chef and a Korean culinary expert The Korean Cookbook celebrates traditional regional dishes and everyday food found in home kitchens from Seoul to Jeju Island. This stunning collection features more than 350 recipes organized ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Indeterminate Inflorescence

“Poetry is the restoration of the whole through details. Think of it as making a sketch of a face only briefly seen. Just as one puts together a shattered skull or an earthenware pot, poetry is the creation of the pieces that go in the spots where the original pieces are missing.” Indeterminate Inflorescence is a ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Celluloid Democracy: Cinema and Politics in Cold War South Korea

Celluloid Democracy tells the story of the Korean filmmakers, distributors, and exhibitors who reshaped cinema in radically empowering ways through the decades of authoritarian rule that followed Korea’s liberation from Japanese occupation. Employing tactics that ranged from representing the dispossessed on the screen to redistributing state-controlled resources through bootlegging, these film workers explored ideas and practices ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Love and the Beginning (K-Poet 33)

Kwon’s third collection of poems, Love and Beginning, has been published in 33 volumes in the K-Poet series. Poet Kwon Park received a lot of attention when he won the Kim Sooyoung Literary Award for 『It’s My Turn to Understand』 and expanded the world of his own work through his second collection of poems, 『Is ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Sohn-mat: Recipes and Flavors of Korean Home Cooking

Sohn-mat is a master class in how to make this exceptional tofu soup at home, as well recipes for all of the other dishes you need to complete the meal, from banchan, to kimchi, to large-format dishes like bibimbap. Beyond its loyal customers, Beverly Soon Tofu was highly acclaimed. The restaurant was written about by Jonathan Gold and Ruth ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Women We Love: Femininities and the Korean Wave

Women We Love: Femininities and the Korean Wave is an edited volume exploring femininities in and around the Korean Wave since 2000. While studies on the Korean Wave are abundant, there is a dearth of thought put toward the female-identifying stars, characters, and fans who shape and lead this crucial cultural movement. This collection of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korean Film and History

Cinema has become a battleground upon which history is made―a major mass medium of the twentieth century dealing with history. The re-enactments of historical events in film straddle reality and fantasy, documentary and fiction, representation and performance, entertainment and education. This interdisciplinary book examines the relationship between film and history and the links between historical ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Necessary Lie: Escape for Freedom and Love

This inspiring, unforgettable true story takes you on a journey through life in North Korea and the heart-wrenching decision two people make who will risk everything to escape. “Doohyun and Jiyeon’s extraordinary love story shows us that bravery and heart can triumph, even during the most unfathomable of hardships. It is an illuminating, gut-wrenching and ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Fate and Freedom in Korean Historical Films

This open access book examines the depiction of Korean history in recent South Korean historical films. Released over the Hallyu (“Korean Wave”) period starting in the mid-1990s, these films have reflected, shaped, and extended the thriving public discourse over national history. In these works, the balance between fate and freedom—the negotiation between societal constraints and individual will, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The K-Wave On-Screen: In Words and Objects

The K-Wave On-Screen provides an engaging and accessible exploration of the meaning of ‘K-’ through the lens of words and objects in K-dramas and K-films. Once a small subculture known only to South Korea’s East Asian neighbours, the Korean Wave has exploded in popularity around the globe in the last decade. Its success has been ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Am I Not Your Sin (K-Poet 31)

As the 31st volume of the K-Poet series, poet Choi Ji-in’s 『Isn’t Your Sin Me?』 was published. This is her third collection of poems after “I Slept Against the Wall” and “Work, Work, Love.” If his previous collection of poems specifically portrayed the voices of the young generation living in the 21st century, in this ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Poverty Must Persist (K-Poet 32)

As the 32nd volume of the K-Poet series, Kim Sai’s 『Poverty Must Be Maintained』 was published. This is her third collection of poems after “The Day I Quit Reflecting” and “I Say I’m Not Doing Anything.” As a poet who desperately portrayed the absurdity of the workplace and the reality of female workers suffering doubly ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Naked Tree

A delicate, timeless, and breathtaking coming-of-age classic, reimagined  Critically acclaimed and award-winning cartoonist Keum Suk Gendry-Kim returns with a stunning addition to her body of graphic fiction rooted in Korean history. Adapted from Park Wan-suh’s beloved novel, The Naked Tree paints a stark portrait of a single nation’s fabric slowly torn to shreds by political upheaval and armed ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Apology

In South Korea, a 105-year-old woman receives a letter. Ten days later, she has been thrust into the afterlife, fighting to head off a curse that will otherwise devastate generations to come. Hak Jeonga has always shouldered the burden of upholding the family name. When she sent her daughter-in-law to America to cover up an ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Miss Kim Knows and Other Stories

A woman is born. A woman is filmed in public without consent. A woman suffers domestic violence. A woman is gaslit. A woman is discriminated against at work. A woman grows old. A woman becomes famous. A woman is hated, and loved, and then hated again. Written in Cho Nam-Joo’s masterful, razor-sharp prose, Miss Kim ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Towards 0%

“Despite the hordes of people packing the theatre that day, I can’t remember a single face.” An extended meditation on the world of Korean cinema, the blockbuster versus the independent artist, its trends and its characters and role in society, seen through the eyes of a film enthusiast narrator and their interactions with those around them, each ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Greatest Gamble On Earth

“If I had to choose the richest person whom I would call a friend, I would pick Han Seung-hui.” A reconnection with an old friend leads to an intriguing party invite with surprising results and, through this simple tale and the progress of a single relationship, but from separate and very different worlds, a deeper story is told of contemporary society and class. About the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

For That Which Cannot Be Restored

“I simply shrugged at her like a westerner, which did nothing to temper the bottled-up shame and simmering anger within me.” A cranky woman of letters ends up investigating after a story submitted for a writing competition at a government sponsored magazine is pulled from publication by its author, and in doing so finds a ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Kyoko and Kyoji

“My name is きょうこ, Kyoko, I am Korean … I have something important to tell you.” A subtly disorienting story of reminiscences between a mother and daughter as they each in their own way struggle with the effects of the mother’s encroaching dementia. As they each try to piece together the fragments of a traumatic history, through doing so they tell ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Take My Voice

“The bloodstains on the linoleum were impossible to remove completely.” A madcap, sci-fi, found-family caper set in a world where a small group of people, known as ‘monsters’,  have developed odd special powers or traits necessitating their voluntary, or less voluntary, incarceration while the state works out what to do with them and which builds to a wonderfully comic set-piece, charmingly ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Knockoff Viagra & Jeje

“I had been called to pick up Jeje from a karaoke bar in Jongno district…” A deftly expressive short modern love story concerning the misadventures of Hyoung and Jeje as they navigate the Seoul underworld in search of something more from life with lots to say about our contemporary moment; how people use and are used by others, but ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Walk With A Goddess

“Are you referring to the ‘strange and sorrowful coincidences’? That’s what I call them. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but they’re no ordinary, everyday thing, just so we’re clear.” A young woman rumoured to be possed of a strange supernatural ability and a young man take a walk. As she tells him her story ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Like A Barbie

“Met her again today. I finally got my hands on her, but still can’t believe what she put me through all that time. Attaching her face here. K-Bot.jpg” A story of a young student’s tribulations and those of the people around her which says a lot about the process of coming of age in contemporary Korean society ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Surviving Squid Game: A Guide to K-Drama, Netflix, and Global Streaming Wars

Korea has fully stepped onto the global stage in stunning strides. From the Oscar-winning film Parasite to the pop juggernaut known as BTS, Korean popular culture has taken the world by storm. This new Korean wave has influenced global tastes in drama, music, fashion, and can even be seen in the beauty industry’s obsession with Korean ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Counterweight

For fans of the worlds of Philip K. Dick, Squid Game and Severance: An absorbing tale of corporate intrigue, political unrest, unsolved mysteries, and the havoc wreaked by one company’s monomaniacal endeavor to build the world’s first space elevator — from one of South Korea’s most revered science fiction writers, whose identity remains unknown. On the fictional ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Boundless Winds of Empire: Rhetoric and Ritual in Early Chosŏn Diplomacy with Ming China

For more than two hundred years after its establishment in 1392, the Chosŏn dynasty of Korea enjoyed generally peaceful and stable relations with neighboring Ming China, which dwarfed it in size, population, and power. This remarkably long period of sustained peace was not an inevitable consequence of Chinese cultural and political ascendancy. In this book, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Excavations

Sae is waiting with two clingy toddlers for her husband to come home from work when she learns of a horrific disaster, the collapse of a massive skyscraper where Jae is an engineer. Minutes, then hours, and then days pass. Speculations of North Korean terrorism and structural instability circulate as possible causes of the Tower’s ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS

THE FIRST EVER OFFICIAL BOOK: Published in celebration of BTS’s 10th Anniversary, stories that go beyond what you already know about BTS, including unreleased photos, QR codes of videos, and all album information. After taking their first step into the world on June 13, 2013, BTS will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut in ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

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] (Link to online store)

Introducing Korean Popular Culture

This new textbook is a timely and interdisciplinary resource for students looking for an introduction to Korean popular culture, exploring the multifaceted meaning of Korean popular culture at micro and macro levels and the process of cultural production, representation, circulation and consumption in a global context. Drawing on perspectives from the humanities and social sciences, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Sister

The onset of Covid-19 has coincided with the dramatic rise of a young woman called Kim Yo Jong in North Korea. Stomping the world stage from the shadows of her secretive state, she is creating headlines and fevered speculation about her role and her future. She is the sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War: Comparing North and South Korean Writing

Through an in-depth analysis of wartime essays and literary works, Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War considers the similarities and differences in the way that writers from both North and South Korea perceived and experienced the conflict. In this book, Jerôme de Wit examines the social impact of major themes in the output ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korea: A New History of South and North

A major new history of North and South Korea, from the late nineteenth century to the present day Korea has a long, riveting history—it is also a divided nation. South Korea is a vibrant democracy, the tenth largest economy, and is home to a world-renowned culture. North Korea is ruled by the most authoritarian regime ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Y/N

Surreal, hilarious, and shrewdly poignant—a novel about a Korean American woman living in Berlin whose obsession with a K-pop idol sends her to Seoul on a journey of literary self-destruction. It’s as if her life only began once Moon appeared in it. The desultory copywriting work, the boyfriend, and the want of anything not-Moon quickly ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korea at War: Conflicts That Shaped the World

An engaging history covering a century of conflict on the Korean Peninsula Korea at War recounts how two separate nations emerged on the Korean peninsula as the result of devastating conflicts involving provocative personalities and superpower intrigues. The topics covered in this fascinating book include: The brutal years of Japanese colonial rule which began with Japan’s ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Another Person

Vacuum cleaner bitch. When Jina sees this anonymous comment on a forum it forces her out of her stupor. It is posted on a website dissecting her public allegations of workplace sexual assault, the backlash to which forced her to quit her job. She has spent months glued to her laptop screen, junk-food packaging piling ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Human-Animal Relations and the Hunt in Korea and Northeast Asia

Studies the hunt, animals and how regional dynamics informed local cultural practices on the Korean peninsula Elucidates the significance of the peninsula in regional and Eurasian history through detailing and navigating animals and the hunt, themes scholarship has overlooked. Reframes the struggle between a kingship and a powerful bureaucracy competing for authority over an expanding ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital

A cutting-edge journalistic exposé of self-care consumerism, using the extreme case South Korea to both celebrate the astounding growth of K-Beauty and South Korean pop culture as a global export and examine the dark implications for women in a looks-obsessed patriarchy, in a debut that asks the question: What is the future of beauty? From ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Justifying Violence on Korea’s Cold War Frontlines: The Life and Representations of Kim Tu-han

The son of a nationalist martyr, Kim Tu-han (1918-1972) rose to prominence as a mobster in 1930s Seoul. As conditions shifted, he deployed his gang first as a construction corps supporting the Japanese war effort, then as a progressive force, and, most successfully, as an anti-communist vigilante group. After narrowly escaping the death sentence for ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Dress History of Korea: Critical Perspectives on the Primary Sources

Bringing together a wealth of primary sources and with contributions from leading experts, Korean Dress History presents the most recent approaches to the interpretation of Korean dress. Through close analysis of an impressive range of visual, written, and material sources―some newly excavated or recently re-discovered in global museums―the book reveals how Korean clothing and accessories evolved from ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Forces of Nature: New Perspectives on Korean Environments

Bringing together a multidisciplinary conversation about the entanglement of nature and society in the Korean peninsula, Forces of Nature aims to define and develop the field of the Korean environmental humanities. At its core, the volume works to foreground non-human agents that have long been marginalized in Korean studies, placing flora, fauna, mineral deposits, and climatic conditions that ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Mater 2-10

International Booker–nominated virtuoso Hwang Sok-yong is back with another powerful story — an epic, multi-generational tale that threads together a century of Korean history. Centred on three generations of a family of rail workers and a laid-off factory worker staging a high-altitude sit-in, Mater 2-10 vividly depicts the lives of ordinary working Koreans, starting from ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Other Great Game: The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia

A dramatic new telling of the dawn of modern East Asia, placing Korea at the center of a transformed world order wrought by imperial greed and devastating wars. In the nineteenth century, Russia participated in two “great games”: one, well known, pitted the tsar’s empire against Britain in Central Asia. The other, hitherto unrecognized but ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Phantom Pain Wings

Winged ventriloquy—a powerful new poetry collection channeling the language of birds by South Korea’s most innovative contemporary writer This book is about the realization of / I-thought-bird-was-part-of-me-but-Iwas-part-of-bird sequence / It’s a delayed record of such a sequence. An iconic figure in the emergence of feminist poetry in South Korea and now internationally renowned, Kim Hyesoon ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Togani

Atmospheric and fast-paced, this novel of manners set in a provincial South Korean city leads readers through the silent corridors of a school for hearing-impaired children and the city’s foggy back streets and murky centers of power to a stirring courtroom climax. Gong Jiyoung’s Togani (The Crucible), published in Korean in 2009, is based on a historic case ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

ReFocus: The Films of Kim Ki-young

The first comprehensive scholarly volume on Kim Ki-young and his films in English Offers an innovative critical analysis of Kim Ki-young’s films from a range of fresh and nuanced perspectives Introduces a significant South Korean film auteur within the history of global cinema whose work has been previously overlooked Increases the understanding of modern South ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories

This eclectic, moving and richly enjoyable collection is the essential introduction to Korean literature. Journeying through Korea’s dramatic recent past, 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 hundred years of vivid storytelling. ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Greek Lessons

A powerful novel of the saving grace of language and human connection, from the celebrated author of The Vegetarian In a classroom in Seoul, a young woman watches her Greek language teacher at the blackboard. She tries to speak but has lost her voice. Her teacher finds himself drawn to the silent woman, for day by ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Specters of Algeria

A group of dramatists that commit what was a subversive act during the South Korean military dictatorships of the twentieth century – distributing copies of Karl Marx’s only surviving play, The Specters of Algeria. The consequences of the brutal crackdown by the authorities would set the directions of the lives of two children of the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Painter of the Wind

A heart-wrenching and gripping novel with over a million copies sold! Painter of the Wind is a masterful novel that was adapted into a popular, award winning South Korean TV series. This gem of a book also delights readers with a rare collection of thirty-four colour paintings, including Shin Yun-bok’s Portrait of a Beauty and Kim Hong-do’s Wrestling. Set ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

I Went to See My Father

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] (Link to online store)

City of Sediments: A History of Seoul in the Age of Colonialism

Once the capital of the five-hundred-year Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1897) and the Taehan Empire (1897–1910), the city of Seoul posed unique challenges to urban reform and modernization under Japanese colonial rule in the early twentieth century, constrained by the labyrinthian built environment of the old Korean capital. Colonial authorities attempted to employ a strategy of “erasure”—monumental ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Living Remedy

From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of family, class and grief—a daughter’s search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she’s lost. In this country, unless you attain extraordinary wealth, you will likely be unable to ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Rice Table: Korean Recipes and Stories to Feed the Soul

Rice Table | bap sang is a collection of 80 recipes showcasing modern, Korean home cooking. A Korean living in the UK, Su Scott was thrown into a crisis of identity when motherhood dawned, one which she only found her way out of by cooking the dishes of her Korean childhood, seeking out the flavours ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Forgotten British War: The Accounts of Korean War Veterans

This book presents oral histories from the last surviving UK veterans of the Korean War. With the help of the UK National Army Museum and the British Korean Society, this book collects nearly twenty testimonials of UK veterans of the Korean War. Many only teenagers when mobilized, these veterans attempt to put words to the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Walking Practice

Squid Game meets The Left Hand of Darkness meets Under the Skin in this radical literary sensation from South Korea about an alien’s hunt for food that transforms into an existential crisis about what it means to be human. After crashing their spacecraft in the middle of nowhere, a shapeshifting alien find themself stranded on an unfamiliar planet and disabled ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Last Night, in My Dream (K-Fiction 032)

A narrative of hurt and repentance through the stories of three generations of women. In her author’s note, Jung says that she wrote this novel because she wanted to “tell a story about illness, money, and grace”. The novel tells the story of three generations of mothers and daughters, starting with the maternal grandmother, who ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Flowers of Fire: The Inside Story of South Korea’s Feminist Movement and What It Means for Women’ s Rights Worldwide

An eye-opening firsthand account of the ongoing and trailblazing feminist movement in South Korea—one that the world should be watching. Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, tens of thousands of people in South Korea have taken to the street, and many more brave individuals took a stand, to end a decades-long abortion ban and ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Korean Book of Happiness

From the very first moment she set foot in South Korea, Barbara Zitwer, literary agent to some of the most celebrated, prize-winning Korean authors, fell head-over-heels in love, discovering there a renewed sense of happiness and energy. In this witty, charming book, Zitwer shares all that she has learnt about this fascinating country: a vibrant, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Black Girl from Pyongyang

In 1979, aged only seven, Monica Macias was transplanted from West Africa to the unfamiliar surroundings of North Korea. She was sent by her father Francisco, the first president of post-Independence Equatorial Guinea, to be educated under the guardianship of his ally, Kim Il Sung. Within months, her father was executed in a military coup; ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Cambridge Companion to K-Pop

How did Korea with a relatively small-scale music industry come to create a vibrant pop culture scene that would enthrall not only young Asian fans but also global audiences from diverse racial and generational backgrounds? From idol training to fan engagement, from studio recording to mastering choreographic sequences, what are the steps that go into ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Understanding Korean Webtoon Culture: Transmedia Storytelling, Digital Platforms, and Genres

Webtoons are the latest manifestation of the Korean Wave of popular culture that has increasingly caught on across the globe in recent years, especially among youth. Webtoons are a form of comic that are typically published digitally in chapter form. Originally distributed via the Internet, they are now increasingly distributed through smartphones to ravenous readers ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Among Women across Worlds: North Korea in the Global Cold War

In Among Women across Worlds, Suzy Kim excavates the transnational linkages between women of North Korea and a worldwide women’s movement. Women of Asia, especially those espousing communism, are often portrayed as victims or pawns of a patriarchal Confucian state. Kim undercuts this standard analysis through detailed archival work in the international women’s press, and finds that ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

While Time Remains: A North Korean Defector’s Search for Freedom in America

The North Korean defector, human rights advocate, and bestselling author of In Order to Live sounds the alarm on the culture wars, identity politics, and authoritarian tendencies tearing America apart. After defecting from North Korea, Yeonmi Park found liberty and freedom in America. But she also found a chilling crackdown on self-expression and thought that ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Skull Water

A remarkable intergenerational coming-of-age novel set in South Korea—about friendship, belonging, and displacement. Growing up outside a US military base in South Korea in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Insu—the son of a Korean mother and a German father enlisted in the US Army—spends his days with his “half and half” friends skipping school, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Korean Confucian’s Advice on How to Be Moral: Tasan Chŏng Yagyong’s Reading of the Zhongyong

Tasan Chŏng Yagyong (1762–1836) is one of the most creative thinkers Korea has ever produced, one of the country’s first Christians, and a leading scholar in Confucian philosophy. Born in a staunchly Neo-Confucian society, in his early twenties he encountered writings by Catholic missionaries in China and was fascinated. However, when he later learned that ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Ryu Sŏngnyong, Chancellor of Chosŏn Korea

This biography of Ryu Sŏngnyong presents a new view of his childhood and education, his career as a government official, and his scholarship during retirement. The narrative includes descriptions of the Imjin War between Hideyoshi’s Japan and Chosŏn Korea, and their negotiations with imperial China. With the Japanese invasion of Chosŏn, King Sŏnjo’s court was ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

100°C: South Korea’s 1987 Democracy Movement

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] (Link to online store)

Calculated Nationalism in Contemporary South Korea: Movements for Political and Economic Democratization in the 21st Century

Nationalism in a nation-state reflects its emergent structural, cultural, and personal properties at a given time. In the politico-historical context of South Korea and the globe, the fruits of the 1968 Revolution in France could not reach Korean society under its military regime and exploitative economic structure. This continued to frustrate the grassroots and especially social actors ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics

South Korea is best-known for its economic development, democratic transition and consolidation, vibrant civil society, and emergence as a cultural powerhouse. The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics presents and analyses contemporary South Korean politics, bringing together domestic political, economic, social cultural, and demographic developments and putting them in the context of trends in fellow ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Whale

A woman sells her daughter to a passing beekeeper for two jars of honey. A baby weighing fifteen pounds is born in the depths of winter but named “Girl of Spring”. A storm brings down the roof of a ramshackle restaurant to reveal a hidden fortune. These are just some of the events that set ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Voices of the Korean Comfort Women: History Rewritten from Memories

An innumerable number of young women were taken from Korea during the Pacific War to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers. These women including teenagers, euphemistically referred in Japanese documents as Comfort Women, were shipped to the vastly expanded battle fronts throughout the Japan-occupied territories covering from Northern China to Myanmar and to the South ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

On BTS: Pop Music, Fandom, Sincerity

A love letter to Korean pop sensation BTS and an ode to fandom. The supersonic rise of the Korean pop group BTS may seem enigmatic to some, but for Lenika Cruz, senior culture editor at The Atlantic, their worldwide fame is obvious. As Cruz argues in On BTS: Pop Music, Fandom, Sincerity, the group’s trajectory—debuting on a ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Concealed Words

A debut English-language collection of hopeful and carefully attentive poems by one of South Korea’s most lauded young poets. This collection offers a selection of poems from Sin Yong-mok’s earlier collections, intended to serve as an illustration of his evolution as a poet, alongside a complete translation of the poems from his fourth collection, When ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Hinge Points: An Inside Look at North Korea’s Nuclear Program

North Korea remains a puzzle to Americans. How did this country—one of the most isolated in the world and in the policy cross hairs of every U.S. administration during the past 30 years—progress from zero nuclear weapons in 2001 to a threatening arsenal of perhaps 50 such weapons in 2021? Hinge Points brings readers literally ... [Read More] (Link to online store)