Upcoming books

Here are the upcoming Korea-related books that we’re particularly looking forward to – both fiction and non-fiction. There are probably loads more that we should be looking forward to, if only we knew about them. Sorted by anticipated publication date, with the most imminent titles at the top of the page. Some of the further-out dates may be a little bit speculative on our part; as we get nearer the time the dates will become clearer.

If you know about any titles you think we should be tracking, please let us know via the form at the bottom of this page. We can only log the titles we know about, so do tell!

The Hard Road Out: Escaping North Korea

North Korea is an open-air prison from which there is no escape. Only a handful of men and women have succeeded. Jihyun Park is one of these rare survivors. Twice she left the land of the ‘socialist miracle’ to flee famine and dictatorship. By the age of 29 she had already witnessed a lifetime of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop

South Korea has the most remarkable of histories. Born from the ashes of colonialism, partition and a devastating war, back in the 1950s there were real doubts about its survival as an independent state. Yet South Korea did survive, and first became known globally for the export of cheap toys, shoes and clothing. Today, South ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Lazarus Heist: From Hollywood to High Finance: Inside North Korea’s Global Cyber War

Investigative journalist, author and broadcaster Geoff White is among the UK’s leading technology specialists, working for the BBC, Channel 4 News, The Sunday Times and many more. In a career spanning 20 years he has covered election hacking, the dark web, the personal data trade and the emergence of cybercrime as one of the primal ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Supercorporate: Distinction and Participation in Post-Hierarchy South Korea

What should South Korean offices look like in a post-hierarchical world? In Supercorporate, anthropologist Michael M. Prentice examines a central tension in visions of big corporate life in South Korea’s twenty-first century: should corporations be sites of fair distinction or equal participation? As South Korea distances itself from images and figures of a hierarchical past, Prentice ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Confronting South Korea’s Next Crisis: Rigidities, Polarization, and Fear of Japanification

South Korea’s economic miracle is a well-known story. However, today Korea is confronting a new set of internal and external risks, which may foreshadow the next crisis. The Korean economy has been struggling with the faltering growth momentum and the rise of unprecedented socio-economic problems over recent years well before the pandemic crisis. After abrupt ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea: Reflections and Future Directions

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea provides an in-depth look at the lives of families in Korea that include immigrants. Ten original chapters in this volume, written by scholars in multiple social science disciplines and covering different methodological approaches, aim to reinvigorate contemporary discussions about these multicultural families. Specially, the volume expands the scope of ... [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)

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

THE PHENOMENAL KOREAN BESTSELLER PSYCHIATRIST: So how can I help you? ME: I don’t know, I’m – what’s the word – depressed? Do I have to go into detail? Baek Se-Hee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her – what to call it? ... [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]

Confucian Reform in Chosun Korea: Yu Hyŏngwŏn’s Pan’gye surok

Pan’gye surok (or “Pan’gye’s Random Jottings”) was written by the Korean scholar and social critic Yu Hyŏngwŏn (1622-1673), who proposed to reform the Joseon dynasty and realise an ideal Confucian society. It was recognised as a leading work of political science by Yu’s contemporaries and continues to be a key text in understanding the intellectual culture ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Spirit Power: Politics and Religion in Korea’s American Century

Spirit Power explores the manifestation of the American Century in Korean history with a focus on religious culture. It looks back on the encounter with American missionary power from the late nineteenth century, and the long political struggles against the country’s indigenous popular religious heritage during the colonial and postcolonial eras. The book brings an anthropology ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Privilege and Anxiety: The Korean Middle Class in the Global Era

In Privilege and Anxiety, Hagen Koo examines what has happened to the Korean middle class in the era of rapid globalization and demonstrates that the middle class has experienced significant changes in its social character. The middle classes in most advanced economies today are frequently described as being “squeezed” and “shrinking.” Globalization has inserted an “axis ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Mediating the South Korean Other: Representations and Discourses of Difference in the Post/Neocolonial Nation-State

Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads

An ethnography of advertising in postmillennial South Korea, Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads details contests over advertising freedoms and obligations among divergent vested interests while positing far-reaching questions about the social contract that governs advertising in late-capitalist societies. The term “flower of capitalism” is a clichéd metaphor for advertising in South Korea, bringing ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

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

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] (Link to online store)

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] (Link to online store)

The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories

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 hundred years of Korea’s ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Broken Summer

A death, a lie, a secret. For twenty-six summers he didn’t have the courage to face the past. Lee Hanjo is an artist at the peak of his fame, envied and celebrated. Then, on his forty-third birthday, he awakens to find that his devoted wife has disappeared, leaving behind a soon-to-be-published novel she’d secretly written ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Rebel and the Kingdom: One Man’s Crusade to Overthrow the North Korean Regime

A gripping account of an Ivy League activist-turned-fugitive and his clandestine effort to overthrow the murderous North Korean regime, a heart-pounding investigation into personal agency and the price of freedom from the New York Times bestselling co-author of Billion Dollar Whale In the early 2000s Adrian Hong was a soft-spoken undergraduate at Yale who, like ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Table for One: Stories

From the publisher’s website: An office worker who has no one to eat lunch with enrolls in a course that builds confidence about eating alone. A man with a pathological fear of bedbugs offers up his body to save his building from infestation. A time capsule in Seoul is dug up hundreds of years before ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Wailing

Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing (2016) has been acclaimed as one of the very best horror films of recent years. In The Wailing, a mysterious illness turns its rural victims into comatose perpetrators of familicide. In the fog of an unknown spiritual war, police officer Jong-goo is helpless as his community fragments and suspicions turn to a mysterious Japanese ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Picture Bride

“Your husband is a landowner,” they told her. “Food and clothing is so plentiful, it grows on trees.” “You will be able to go to school.” Of the three lies the matchmaker told Willow before she left home as a picture bride in 1918, the third hurt the most. Never one to be deterred, Willow ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Minor Salvage The Korean War and Korean American Life Writings

The Korean War, often invoked in American culture as “the forgotten war,” was fought between 1950 and 1953 and ended with an infamous stalemate and the construction of the Korean Peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone. Millions of Korean civilians and refugees were left behind, some of whom would go onto live in the United States. Minor Salvage ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Stranger than Paradise

No official synopsis available. Here’s a review from Korean Literature Now: The novel Stranger than Paradise offers a unique narrative structure with each character’s point of view accessible to the reader. The book reads like a road trip movie telling the story of two men and a woman traveling in a car. Kim and Choi are the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Consultant

From the feature in the Korea Times: “The Consultant” is not your average thriller. It revolves around a young aspiring novelist who, unbeknownst to himself, becomes part of a hit squad. Upon the requests of his clients, the protagonist conducts elaborate amounts of research and planning in order to make planned murders look natural, creating ... [Read More]

I Went to See My Father

The publisher said Shin’s 2011 international bestseller Please Look After Mom sold more than two million copies in South Korea alone. I Went to See My Father continues the family saga begun in that book. “Whereas Please Look After Mom is a very contained, personal story of a mother,” Astra House said, “I Went to See My Father is more ambitious, with ... [Read More]

Walking Practice

No further details other than this announcement on Barbara J Zitwer’s Facebook page: The astounding debut novel, Walking Practice, by Korean author Dolki Min pre-empted by Tara Parsons for HarperVIA Books! Translated by the brilliant Victoria Caudle and coming to readers in 2023 in English. The reading world will never be the same! As for ... [Read More]

The Korean Book of Happiness

No information available yet. See article in Bookseller pic.twitter.com/dV8FGJjdsp — Barbara J Zitwer (@BZitwer) March 10, 2022 [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Korean Cinema Book

Publisher description: The volume provides the first detailed and authoritative overview of Korean cinema history, and in so doing develops new historical and critical understandings of Korean cinema from the period of Japanese colonial rule to the present day, with two very different cinematic traditions in this divided peninsula. The contributed chapters approach the subject ... [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)

Can’t I go instead?

No official synposis yet. From Yes24 website, run through Papago translation engine: The icon of youth literature, author Lee Geum’s first historical novel, “A Girl’s Attractive Life Trip Ready to Go Her Way Anytime,” there, can I go? In short, there is a person who lived a life that no one could have dreamed of ... [Read More]

This list can only contain the books we know about. So if you’re aware of an upcoming book that we should be tracking, whether fiction or non-fiction, let us know about it. If it’s literature in translation, we’ll definitely add it. If it’s non-fiction, we’ll probably add it, but reserve the right to politely decline because hours in the day, and database space, are finite resources.