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 Master from Mountains and Fields: Prose Writings of Hwadam, Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk

The Master from Mountains and Fields is a fully annotated translation of the prose texts from the “collected works” of Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk (1489–1546), an influential Confucian scholar from the early Chosŏn period (1392-1910). A native of Songdo (also known as Kaesŏng) in present-day North Korea, Sŏ has loomed large in the Korean cultural imagination and appeared ... [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]

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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]

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)

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)

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)

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)

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]

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)

Counterweight

A novel by the sci-fi master Djuna, who has been working as a faceless writer for over 20 years and has built a unique ‘Djuna World’ with only a meticulous worldview, phenomenal thought experiments, and excellent style. It is a thriller sci-fi thriller that depicts a huge conspiracy surrounding an orbital elevator, a passageway that ... [Read More]

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 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)

Indeterminate Inflorescence

Joining the lineup for 2023, we are thrilled to announce our first project with translator Anton Hur. INDETERMINATE INFLORESCENCE is a collection of aphorisms on poetry-writing by the South Korean poet Lee Seong-bok, assembled by his students from his lectures. The aphorisms are small poems in their own right, and their cumulative force is to ... [Read More]

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]

Didi’s Umbrella

Hwang Jungeun’s DIDI’S UMBRELLA, about national mourning and political revolution in the wake of the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster that killed 304 Korean citizens, following a non-binary gig worker grieving the sudden death of their romantic partner; meanwhile, an inquisitive writer whose queer family encompasses her same-sex partner, her sister, and her nephew, researches a ... [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.