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Booklist: books published in last 12 months

Want to know what recent publications you’ve missed? Here is a list of titles published in the last 12 months that we’ve been tracking and even hoping to read. Includes literature in translation, Korea-related fiction and poetry in English, plus notable non-fiction titles.

Sorted by date of publication, most recent first.

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Kwon Yeo-sun tr Janet Hong
Head of Zeus, Other Press, 2021

‘A haunting literary crime story … Razor-sharp observations of class, gender and privilege in contemporary Korea’ Cosmopolitan In the summer of 2002, nineteen-year-old Kim Hae-on was murdered in what became known as the High School Beauty Murder. There were two suspects: Shin Jeongjun, who had a rock-solid alibi, and Han Manu, to whom no evidence could […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

The Cabinet
Kim Un-su tr Sean Lin Hilbert
Angry Robot, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Winner of the Munhakdongne Novel Award, South Korea’s most prestigious literary prize. Cabinet 13 looks exactly like any normal filing cabinet…Except this cabinet is filled with files on the ‘symptomers’, humans whose strange abilities and bizarre experiences might just mark the emergence of a new species. But to Kong, the harried […] (Link to online store)

The Constitution of South Korea: A Contextual Analysis
Chaihark Hahm
Bloomsbury, 2021

From the publisher’s website: The current South Korean Constitution of 1987 is the culmination of decades-long efforts by the South Korean people to achieve democratic self-government. It is the fruition of untold sacrifices made by dedicated citizens who tirelessly fought to rein in the power of the government under some form of constitutional rule. In […] (Link to online store)

Sound of the Border: Music and Identity of Korean Minority Nationality in China
Sunhee Koo
University of Hawai'i Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Using ethnographic data collected in China and South Korea between 2004 and 2011, Sound of the Border provides a comprehensive view of the music of Koreans in China (Chaoxianzu), from its time as manifestation of a displaced culture to its return home after more than a century of amalgamation and change in China. […] (Link to online store)

Future Yet to Come: Sociotechnical Imaginaries in Modern Korea
Ed Sonja M. Kim and Robert Ji-Song Ku
University of Hawai'i Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: South Korea is home to cutting-edge electronics, state-of-the-art medical facilities, and ubiquitous high-speed internet. The country’s meteoric rise from the ashes of the Korean War (1950–1953) to rank among the world’s most technologically advanced societies is often attributed to state-led promotion of science and technology in nation-building projects. With chapters that […] (Link to online store)

The Candlelight Movement, Democracy, and Communication in Korea
Ed JongHwa Lee, Chuyun Oh, Yong-Chan Kim
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This book examines key features, problems and implications of the 2016-2017 Candlelight Movement, a historical cornerstone for democracy and social movements in South Korea. The Candlelight Movement brought profound social changes with important lessons and questions for scholars, practitioners, activists, and the public. To examine the full complexity of the movement, […] (Link to online store)

Koreans in Transnational Diasporas of the Russian Far East and Manchuria, 1895–1920: Arirang People
Hye Ok Park
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Much attention has been paid to the Japanese deployment of Koreans in their war efforts during WWII. Much less attention, however, has been given to the subject prior to 1910. This book will: 1) present the evidence which reveals the presence of Koreans in the Japanese military during the Russo-Japanese War, […] (Link to online store)

On Translating Modern Korean Poetry
Ed Jieun Kiaer, Anna Yates-Lu, Mattho Mandersloot tr Anna Yates-Lu, Jieun Kiaer, Mattho Mandersloot
Routledge, 2021

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 […] (Link to online store)

The Waiting
Keum Suk Gendry-Kim tr Janet Hong
Drawn + Quarterly, 2021

From the publisher’s website: The story begins with a mother’s confession…sisters permanently separated by a border during the Korean War Keum Suk Gendry-Kim was an adult when her mother revealed a family secret: She had been separated from her sister during the Korean War. It’s not an uncommon story–the peninsula was split across the 38th […] (Link to online store)

Magic Candies
Baek Heena tr Sophie Bowman
Amazon Crossing, 2021

From the Amazon website: A quirky story about finding your voice, from internationally acclaimed author Heena Baek. Tong Tong could never have imagined what everyone around him was thinking. But when he gets hold of some magic candies, suddenly there are voices everywhere. He can hear how his couch feels, what upsets his dog, that […] (Link to online store)

The Soft Power of the Korean Wave: Parasite, BTS and Drama
Ed Youna Kim
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: At this fascinating historical moment, this timely collection explores the new meaning of the Korean Wave and the process of media production, representation, distribution and consumption in a global context as a distinctive and complex form of soft power. Focusing on the most recent phenomenon of Korean popular culture, this book […] (Link to online store)

The Encyclopedia of Daily Life: A Woman’s Guide to Living in Late-Chosŏn Korea
Lady Yi tr Kil Cha, Michael J Pettid
University of Hawai'i Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This volume is a fully annotated translation of an early nineteenth-century encyclopedia, the Kyuhap ch’ongsŏ (The Encyclopedia of Daily Life). Written by Lady Yi (1759-1824) as a household management aid for her daughters and daughters-in-law, the work is a treasure trove of information on how women of higher status in the […] (Link to online store)

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea
Ed Sojin Lim, Niki J.P. Alsford
Routledge, 2021

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea offers a ground-breaking study of the socio-political development of the Korean peninsula in the contemporary period. Written by an international team of scholars and experts, contributions to this book address key intellectual questions in the development of Korean studies, projecting new ways of thinking about how international systems […] (Link to online store)

Movie Minorities: Transnational Rights Advocacy and South Korean Cinema
Chung Hye Seung, David Scott Diffrient
Rutgers University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Rights advocacy has become a prominent facet of South Korea’s increasingly transnational motion picture output, especially following the 1998 presidential inauguration of Kim Dae-jung, a former political prisoner and victim of human rights abuses who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000. Today it is not unusual to see a big-budget […] (Link to online store)

Moon Pops
Baek Heena tr Jieun Kiaer
Owlkids, 2021

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 […] (Link to online store)

Women in the Sky: Gender and Labor in the Making of Modern Korea
Hwasook Nam
ILR Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Women in the Sky examines Korean women factory workers’ century-long activism, from the 1920s to the present, with a focus on gender politics both in the labor movement and in the larger society. It highlights several key moments in colonial and postcolonial Korean history when factory women commanded the attention of the wider […] (Link to online store)

Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War: Comparing North and South Korean Writing
Jerôme de Wit
Bloomsbury, 2021

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 […] (Link to online store)

The World’s Lightest Motorcycle
Yi Won tr E.J. Koh, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello
Zephyr Press, 2021

Yi Won confronts a wired, technological world, often in the mirror, in these inventive, daring and subversive poems. A successor to Korean feminist poets like Kim Hyesoon, Yi Won frequently writes about the perilousness of maintaining one’s human identity in a high-tech, digital environment. In this debut book in English, her poems range from avant-garde prose […] (Link to online store)

The Prisoner
Hwang Sok-yong tr Anton Hur, Sora Kim-Russell
Verso, 2021

From the publisher’s website: A sweeping account of imprisonment—in time, in language, and in a divided country—from Korea’s most acclaimed novelist In 1993, writer and democracy activist Hwang Sok-yong was sentenced to five years in the Seoul Detention Center. Hwang’s imprisonment forced him to consider the many prisons to which he was subject—of thought, of […] (Link to online store)

Contemporary Korean Shamanism: From Ritual to Digital
Liora Sarfati
Indiana University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Once viewed as an embarrassing superstition, the theatrical religious performances of Korean shamans—who communicate with the dead, divine the future, and become possessed—are going mainstream. Attitudes toward Korean shamanism are changing as shamanic traditions appear in staged rituals, museums, films, and television programs, as well as on the internet. Contemporary Korean […] (Link to online store)

Surviving Imperial Intrigues: Korea’s Struggle for Neutrality amid Empires, 1882–1907
Sangpil Jin
University of Hawai'i Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: In Surviving Imperial Intrigues, Sangpil Jin explores how successful Korean neutralization could have radically transformed the balance of power equation in East Asia. He conducted multilocational archival work, analyzing documents from the Austro-Hungarian Empire Ministry of Foreign Affairs, British Foreign Office, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Foreign Office, Japanese Ministry of Foreign […] (Link to online store)

Graphic Design From South Korea
Counter-Point, 2021

From the publisher’s website: A celebration of creativity from South Korea, compiled and published by Counter-Print. Featuring 19 design companies and their work including: Studio Fnt, Bohuy Kim, Hong Eunjoo and Kim Hyungjae, Son Ayong, Na Kim, Pa-i-ka, Corners Studio, Ordinary People, Shin Dokho, Sulki and Min, Bowyer, Jin & Park, Triangle, CFC, Everyday Practice, […] (Link to online store)

The Future of the Korean Peninsula: Korea 2032 and Beyond
Ed Mason Richey, Jagannath P. Panda, David A. Tizzard
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This book considers both Koreas – North Korea and South Korea – to examine possible pathways for the years leading up to 2032 and beyond, thus offering a composite picture of Korea and its strategic relevance in Asia and the world at large. Through a combined South-North Olympic team and an […] (Link to online store)

Culture Smart! Korea: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
James E Hoare
Kuperard, 2021

Don’t just see the sights―get to know the people. Divided along the 38th parallel, modern Korea is the subject of two very different political, social, and economic experiments. Today the military might of the Marxist-Leninist North confronts the soft power and prosperity of the uber-capitalist South. Yet family and cultural ties bind the peoples of […] (Link to online store)

Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions
David S Roh
Stanford University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: There is a tendency to think of Korean American literature—and Asian American literature writ large—as a field of study involving only two spaces, the United States and Korea, with the same being true in Asian studies of Korean Japanese (Zainichi) literature involving only Japan and Korea. This book posits that both […] (Link to online store)

Interviews with North Korean Defectors: From Kim Shin-jo to Thae Yong-ho
Adam Zulawnik, Lim Il tr Adam Zulawnik
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Originally compiled and written by North Korean defector and author Lim Il, this English-language edition, thoroughly annotated by Dr. Adam Zulawnik, is a fascinating collection of thirty-four interviews with highly prominent North Korean defectors residing in South Korea, ranging from religious figures, to artists, politicians, North Korea experts, and even divers […] (Link to online store)

The Korean War and Postmemory Generation: Contemporary Korean Arts and Films
Dong-Yeon Koh
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This pioneering volume navigates cultural memory of the Korean War through the lens of contemporary arts and film in South Korea. Cultural memory of the Korean War has been a subject of persistent controversy in the forging of South Korean postwar national and ideological identity. Applying the theoretical notion of ‘postmemory’, […] (Link to online store)

Cursed Bunny
Chung Bora tr Anton Hur
Honford Star, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Cursed Bunny is a genre-defying collection of short stories by Korean author Bora Chung. Blurring the lines between magical realism, horror, and science-fiction, Chung uses elements of the fantastic and surreal to address the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society. Anton Hur’s translation skilfully captures […] (Link to online store)

William Franklin Sands in Late Choson Korea, 1896–1904: At the Deathbed of Empire
Wayne Patterson
Lexington Books, 2021

From the publisher’s website: After graduation from Georgetown University in 1896, William Franklin Sands joined the US diplomatic corps as second secretary in Tokyo. His year there sparked his interest in East Asia, so when a position in Korea opened, he took it, with the help of his influential father, an admiral in the US […] (Link to online store)

Korean Wild Geese Families: Gender, Family, Social, and Legal Dynamics of Middle-Class Asian Transnational Families in North America
Se Hwa Lee
Lexington Books, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Korean Wild Geese Families: Gender, Family, Social, and Legal Dynamics of Middle-Class Asian Transnational Families in North America explores the experiences of middle-class Korean transnational families, whose mothers and children migrate abroad for children’s education while fathers remain in Korea and economically support their families, throughout transnational separation: before separation, during separation, […] (Link to online store)

North Korea in a Nutshell: A Contemporary Overview
Kongdan Oh, Ralph Hassig
Rowman + Littlefield, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This thoughtful book provides a concise introduction to North Korea. Two leading experts, Kongdan Oh and Ralph Hassig, trace the country’s history from its founding in 1948 and describe the many facets of its political, economic, social, and cultural life. The authors illuminate a hidden nation dominated by three generations of […] (Link to online store)

Stitching the 24-Hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul
Seo Young Park
Cornell East Asia Series, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Stitching the 24-Hour City reveals the intense speed of garment production and everyday life in Dongdaemun, a lively market in Seoul, South Korea. Once the site of uprisings against oppressive working conditions in the 1970s and 1980s, Dongdaemun has now become iconic for its creative economy, nightlife, fast-fashion factories, and shopping plazas. Seo […] (Link to online store)

Shoko’s Smile
Choi Eun-young tr Sung Ryu
Penguin, 2021

From the publisher’s website: ‘Written with sober detail, filmic precision and absolute control . . . an incredibly impressive collection told with realism, seriousness and moral integrity’ Observer In crisp, unembellished prose, Choi Eunyoung paints intimate portraits of the lives of young women in South Korea, balancing the personal with the political. In the title story, […] (Link to online store)

Pillar of Books
Moon Bo Young tr Hedgie Choi
Black Ocean, 2021

This debut collection in English from Korean poet Moon Bo Young insists that you, as a reader, put down your expectations of what should be important or serious. While these poems are about god, death, love, and literature, they are also just as much about a hat with a herd of cows on it, science […] (Link to online store)

To the Warm Horizon
Choi Jin-young tr Soje
Honford Star, 2021

From the publisher’s website: A group of Koreans are making their way across a disease-ravaged landscape—but to what end? To the Warm Horizon shows how in a post-apocalyptic world, humans will still seek purpose, kinship, and even intimacy. Focusing on two young women, Jina and Dori, who find love against all odds, Choi Jin-young creates […] (Link to online store)

Language and Truth in North Korea
Sonia Ryang
University of Hawai'i Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: In this innovative and persuasive volume, Sonia Ryang offers new ways to think about North Korea and how truth emerges over decades from within a dominant discourse. It explores four discrete yet mutually related domains of discourse: North Korea’s literary purge of the 1950s–1960s; its state-initiated linguistic reforms of the 1960s–1980s; […] (Link to online store)

The Chemistry of Korean Foods and Beverages
Ed Choon H. Do, Youngmok Kim and Agnes M. Rimando
Oxford University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: As people embrace new traditional cuisines, curiosity about the chemical composition follows. Korean foods and beverages have been inspired by Korea’s unique location and climate. Some Koreans believe food is medicine, and this belief promotes the use of balanced and nutritional ingredients. The most distinctive feature of Korean food is the […] (Link to online store)

Rights Claiming in South Korea
Ed Celeste L. Arrington, Patricia Goedde
Cambridge University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Although rights-based claims are diversifying and opportunities and resources for claims-making have improved, obtaining rights protections and catalysing social change in South Korea remain challenging processes. This volume examines how different groups in South Korea have defined and articulated grievances and mobilized to remedy them. It explores developments in the institutional […] (Link to online store)

On the Origin of Species and Other Stories
Kim Bo-young tr Joungmin Lee Comfort, Sora Kim-Russell
Kaya, 2021

From the publisher’s website: The debut English-language collection of one of South Korea’s most distinctive and accomplished sci-fi authors Straddling science fiction, fantasy and myth, the writings of award-winning author Bo-Young Kim have garnered a cult following in South Korea, where she is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and inspiration. On the Origin of Species makes available […] (Link to online store)

Lee Soho tr Soje
Open Letter, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Lee Soho’s debut collection of poems is an experimental lyric bildungsroman that confronts dynamics of abuse as it challenges poetic form. Catcalling exposes and ridicules the violences that the speaker-protagonist Kyungjin encounters as she navigates a patriarchal world. Divided in to five formally distinct sections – ranging from lyric to prose […] (Link to online store)

British Extraterritoriality in Korea, 1884 – 1910: A comparison with Japan
Christopher Roberts
Renaissance, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Filling an important gap in extraterritoriality studies and in the history of Anglo-Korean relations, this benchmark study examines Britain’s exercise of extraterritorial rights in Korea from 1884 until Korea’s formal annexation by Japan in 1910. It shows how the treaty provisions—which provided for Britain’s ideal extra-territorial regime—were influenced by Britain’s considerably […] (Link to online store)

Transnational Hallyu: The Globalization of Korean Digital and Popular Culture
Dal Yong Jin, Kyong Yoon, Wonjung Min
Rowman + Littlefield, 2021

From the publisher’s website: While the influence of Western, Anglophone popular culture has continued in the global cultural market, the Korean cultural industry has substantially developed and globally exported its various cultural products, such as television programs, pop music, video games and films. The global circulation of Korean popular culture is known as the Korean […] (Link to online store)

North Korea: Like Nowhere Else​ – Two Years of Living in the World’s Most Secretive State
Lindsey Miller
September, 2021

From the publisher’s website: What happens when you travel to a place where even basic truths are ambiguous? Where sometimes you can’t trust your own eyes or feelings? Where the divide between real and imagined is never clear? For two years, Lindsey Miller lived in North Korea, long regarded as one of the most closed […] (Link to online store)

Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook (2nd Ed)
Andrew Sangpil Byon
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This revised second edition of Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook is an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume. The text can be used in conjunction with any primary textbook, both as a reference guide to the intermediate Korean grammar and a practice book to reinforce learning. This book […] (Link to online store)

Arriving in a Thick Fog
Jung Young-moon tr Jeffrey Karvonen, Mah Eunji
Deep Vellum, 2021

The four novellas in Arriving in a Thick Fog typify renowned Korean cult writer Jung Young Moon’s emphasis not on events, but on the meticulous and convoluted paths the narrator’s minds take as they navigate through life. Through a deep, filterless gaze into the narrator’s heads, Jung shares thorough musings that manage to be both spontaneous and […] (Link to online store)

Korea 1905–1945: From Japanese Colonialism to Liberation and Independence
Ku Daeyeol
Renaissance, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This important new study by one of Korea’s leading historians focuses on the international relations of colonial Korea – from the Japanese rule of the peninsula and its foreign relations (1905–1945) to the ultimate liberation of the country at the end of the Second World War. In addition, it fills a […] (Link to online store)

Happy Together (K-Fiction 029)
Seo Jang-won tr Paige Aniyah Morris
Asia Publishers, 2021

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 […] (Link to online store)

South Korea’s Webtooniverse and the Digital Comic Revolution
Aegyung Shim, Brian Yecies
Rowman + Littlefield, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This book investigates the meteoric rise of mobile webtoons – also known as webcomics – and the dynamic relationships between serialised content, artists, agencies, platforms and applications, as well as the global readership associated with them. It offers an engaging discussion of webtoons themselves, and what makes this new media form […] (Link to online store)

I’m Waiting for You: And Other Stories
Kim Bo-young tr Sophie Bowman, Sung Ryu
Harper Voyager, 2021

From the publisher’s website: A stunning collection of short fiction by one of South Korea’s most treasured writers, available in English for the first time. ‘Her fiction is a breath-taking piece of a cinematic art itself. Reminiscent of the world we experienced in The Matrix, Inception, and Dark City, still it leads us to this […] (Link to online store)

North Korea and the Geopolitics of Development
Jong-Woon Lee, Kevin Gray
Cambridge University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Kevin Gray and Jong-Woon Lee focus on three geopolitical ‘moments’ that have been crucial to the shaping of the North Korean system: colonialism, the Cold War, and the rise of China, to demonstrate how broader processes of geopolitical contestation have fundamentally shaped the emergence and subsequent development of the North Korean […] (Link to online store)

Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World
Benjamin R Young
Stanford University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Far from always having been an isolated nation and a pariah state in the international community, North Korea exercised significant influence among Third World nations during the Cold War era. With one foot in the socialist Second World and the other in the anticolonial Third World, North Korea occupied a unique […] (Link to online store)

Financial Liberalization and Economic Development in Korea, 1980–2020
Hail Park, Joon Kyung Kim, Yung Chul Park
Harvard University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Since the early 1980s, Korea’s financial development has been a tale of liberalization and opening. After the 1997 financial crisis, great strides were made in building a market-oriented financial system through sweeping reforms for deregulation and the opening of financial markets. However, the new system failed to steer the country away […] (Link to online store)

Korean “Comfort Women”: Military Brothels, Brutality, and the Redress Movement
Pyong Gap Min
Rutgers University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Arguably the most brutal crime committed by the Japanese military during the Asia-Pacific war was the forced mobilization of 50,000 to 200,000 Asian women to military brothels to sexually serve Japanese soldiers. The majority of these women died, unable to survive the ordeal. Those survivors who came back home kept silent […] (Link to online store)

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language
Nicholas Harkness
University of Chicago Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Speaking in tongues, also known as glossolalia, has long been a subject of curiosity as well as vigorous theological debate. A worldwide phenomenon that spans multiple Christian traditions, glossolalia is both celebrated as a supernatural gift and condemned as semiotic alchemy. For some it is mystical speech that exceeds what words can […] (Link to online store)

Becoming Kim Jong Un: Understanding North Korea’s Young Dictator
Jung H Pak
Oneworld, 2021

From the publisher’s website: ‘The young dictator comes under close scrutiny in this intelligent account’ Sunday Times The mysterious, brutal, and calculating Kim Jong Un has risen to become the unchallenged dictator of a nuclear rogue state. He now possesses weaponry capable of threatening America and its allies, and his actions have already significantly changed […] (Link to online store)

Digital Media, Online Activism, and Social Movements in Korea
Ed Hojeong Lee and Joong-Hwan Oh
Lexington Books, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Digital Media, Online Activism, and Social Movements in Korea deepens the current understanding of online activism and its impacts on society by highlighting how various forms of social movements have been mobilized in Korea. Through exploring movements in Korea such as political participation based on SNS, the 2008 U.S. beef protests, and […] (Link to online store)

Seoul & Chemulpo Railroad: The First Railroad of Korea
Patrick O'Donnell
Prentiss Publications, 2021

From the description on Amazon: An account of the construction of the Seoul & Chemulpo Railroad, the first railroad of Korea, and its relationship to the murder of Queen Min. The book also includes a summary of the railroad’s place within the framework of the history of Korean-American diplomacy and is illustrated with over 200 […] (Link to online store)

Communicating Food in Korea
Ed Jaehyeon Jeong and Joong-Hwan Oh
Lexington Books, 2021

From the publisher’s website: An in-depth investigation of the complex relationships among food, culture, and society, Communicating Food in Korea features contributors from a variety of disciplines, including economics, political science, communication studies, nutrition research, tourism research, and more. Each chapter presents a unique interpretation of food’s economic, political, and sociocultural relevance. Situated in Korea’s shifting historical […] (Link to online store)

Toward Democracy: South Korean Culture and Society, 1945–1980
Ed Hyunjoo Kim, Yerim Kim, Boduerae Kwon, Hyeryoung Lee, Theodore Jun Yoo
Univ of California Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This volume brings together translated essays by fourteen established and emerging South Korean scholars. Using approaches from sociology, political science, history, and literary and cultural studies, the authors offer innovative and nuanced analyses of a wide range of topics—from refugee displacement to street politics, from anti-communism and democracy to militarization—and discuss […] (Link to online store)

My Brilliant Life
Kim Aeran tr Kim Chi-young
Forge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: “A moving, earnest, and deeply-felt exploration of a unique family in all its joys and disappointments . . . an utter delight.” — Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had My Brilliant Life explores family bonds and out-of-the-ordinary friendships, interweaving the past and present of a tight-knit family, finding joy […] (Link to online store)

Soju: A Global History
Hyunhee Park
Cambridge University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Hyunhee Park offers the first global historical study of soju, the distinctive distilled drink of Korea. Searching for soju’s origins, Park leads us into the vast, complex world of premodern Eurasia. She demonstrates how the Mongol conquests of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries wove together hemispheric flows of trade, empire, scientific […] (Link to online store)

Neo-Confucianism and Science in Korea: Humanity and Nature, 1706-1814
Ro Sang-ho
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Historians of late premodern Korea have tended to regard it as a hermit kingdom, isolated from its neighbours and the wider world. In fact, as Ro argues in this book, Korean intellectuals were heavily influenced by both Chinese Neo-Confucianism and the European Enlightenment in the late 18th and 19th centuries. In […] (Link to online store)

Redemption and Regret: Modernizing Korea in the Writings of James Scarth Gale
James Scarth Gale
University of Toronto Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Edited by Daniel Pieper Redemption and Regret presents two previously unpublished typescripts of James Scarth Gale, a Canadian missionary to Korea for four decades (1888–1927). During his time in Korea, Gale developed into the foremost Western scholar of Korean history, language, and literature, completing the first translation of Korean literature into […] (Link to online store)

Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday
Ksenia Chizhova
Columbia University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: The lineage novel flourished in Korea from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. These vast works unfold genealogically, tracing the lives of several generations. New storylines, often written by different authors, follow the lives of the descendants of the original protagonists, offering encyclopedic accounts of domestic life cycles and […] (Link to online store)

Bae Myung-hoon tr Sung Ryu
Honford Star, 2021

Tower is a series of interconnected stories set in Beanstalk, a 674-story skyscraper and sovereign nation. Each story deals with how citizens living in the hypermodern high-rise deal with various influences of power in their lives: a group of researchers have to tell their boss that a major powerbroker is a dog, a woman uses […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations
Odd Arne Westad
Harvard University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: From an award-winning historian, a concise overview of the deep and longstanding ties between China and the Koreas, providing an essential foundation for understanding East Asian geopolitics today. In a concise, trenchant overview, Odd Arne Westad explores the cultural and political relationship between China and the Koreas over the past 600 […] (Link to online store)

Decoding the Sino-North Korean Borderlands
Ed Adam Cathcart, Christopher Green, Steven Denney tr Robert Lanier
Amsterdam University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Since the 1990s, the Chinese-North Korean border region has undergone a gradual transformation into a site of intensified cooperation, competition, and intrigue. These changes have prompted a significant volume of critical scholarship and media commentary across multiple languages and disciplines. Drawing on existing studies and new data, Decoding the Sino-North Korean Borderlands brings […] (Link to online store)

The History of Modern Korean Fiction (1890-1945): The Topography of Literary Systems and Form
Kim Young-min tr Rachel Min Park
Lexington Books, 2021

From the publisher’s website: Young Min Kim – Translated by Rachel Min Park – Introduction by Theodore Jun Yoo – Afterword by Jooyeon Rhee This book explores the history of modern Korean literature from a sociocultural perspective. Rather than focusing solely on specific authors and their works, Young Min Kim argues that the development of […] (Link to online store)

Homo Maskus (K-Poet 18)
Kim Soo-yeol tr Brother Anthony of Taizé
Asia Publishers, 2020

From the listing at Interpark: The year that started with masks is ending with masks. How often have I left my mask behind and had to go back for it? Looking back, it’s all my fault. The past days of heedless living are observing my behavior closely today. (Poet’s Note) The poems of things that […] (Link to online store)

Holiday Home (K-Fiction 028)
Pyun Hye-young tr Sora Kim-Russell
Asia Publishers, 2020

As this is an Asia Publishers title, it’s pretty difficult to obtain outside of Korea. Text from the listing on the Kyobo website, fed through the Papago translation engine: Pyeon Hye-young’s short novel captures the touch of a catastrophe. It is the 28th K-fiction film. A Korean-English version of “Holiday Home” by Pyun Hye-young, a […] (Link to online store)

A Boy Is Looking at the White Moon from a Classroom Under the Sea (K-Poet 17)
Jang I-ji tr Jeon Seung-hee
Asia Publishers, 2020

From the Interpark website: I feel that that I am writing poems seriously. For that, I am indebted to the late Seoung Chan-gyeong (1930-2013), who wrote poems more seriously than I. He was a disciple of beauty and also never stopped searching for the truth. I feel that I belong to a different world than […] (Link to online store)

Turning toward Edification: Foreigners in Chosŏn Korea
Adam Bohnet
University of Hawai'i Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Turning toward Edification discusses foreigners in Korea from before the founding of Chosŏn in 1392 until the mid-nineteenth century. Although it has been common to describe Chosŏn Korea as a monocultural and homogeneous state, Adam Bohnet reveals the considerable presence of foreigners and people of foreign ancestry in Chosŏn Korea as well […] (Link to online store)

Healing Historical Trauma in South Korean Film and Literature
Choi Chungmoo
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Through South Korean filmic and literary texts, this book explores affect and ethics in the healing of historical trauma, as alternatives to the measures of transitional justice in want of national unity. Historians and legal practitioners who deal with transitional justice agree that the relationship between historiography and justice seeking is […] (Link to online store)

The Road to Multiculturalism in South Korea: Ideas, Discourse, and Institutional Change in a Homogenous Nation-State
Timothy C Lim
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This book aims to capture the complicated development of Korea from monoethnic to multicultural society, challenging the narrative of “ethnonational continuity” in Korea through a discursive institutional approach. At a time when immigration is changing the face of South Korea and an increasingly diverse society becomes empirical fact, this doesn’t necessarily […] (Link to online store)

Understanding Hallyu: The Korean Wave Through Literature, Webtoon, and Mukbang
Hyesu Park
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This book sheds light on aspects of the Korean Wave and Korean media products that are less discussed—Korean literature, webtoon, and mukbang. It explores the making of these Korean popular cultural products and how they work and engage media recipients regardless of their different national, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. Drawing on […] (Link to online store)

Korean Food Television and the Korean Nation
Jaehyeon Jeong
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This book examines the historical development of Korean food TV and its articulation of Koreanness in the era of globalization. Jaehyeon Jeong defines the evolution of Korean food TV as an outcome of the conjuncture between the television industry’s structural changes, the shift in food’s landscape and cultural legitimacy, and various […] (Link to online store)

Korean Digital Diaspora: Transnational Social Movements and Diaspora Identity
Hojeong Lee
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Through a critical examination of the Korean diaspora in transnational contexts as a case study, Korean Digital Diaspora: Transnational Social Movements and Diaspora Identity unmasks the process of how people of the diaspora have built social interactions and communication with others online, how they have orchestrated social movements, and finally, how they have […] (Link to online store)

Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook
Andrew Sangpil Byon
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: The revised second edition of Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook is an accessible reference grammar and workbook in one volume. The text can be used in conjunction with any primary textbook, both as a practice book to reinforce learning and as a reference guide to the basics of Korean grammar. This book is […] (Link to online store)

Yoo Youngkuk: Quintessence
Ed Rosa Maria Falvo
Rizzoli, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This is the first comprehensive monograph on master artist Yoo Youngkuk, one of Korea’s most popular modernists and considered a “magician of colors.” Yoo Youngkuk was born and raised in the remote hinterlands of Uljin, South Korea. In the 1930s, he left to study art in Japan and returned to Korea […] (Link to online store)

Seeing Like a Child: Inheriting the Korean War
Clara Han
Fordham University Press, 2020

An utterly original and illuminating work that meets at the crossroads of autobiography and ethnography to re-examine violence and memory through the eyes of a child. Seeing Like a Child is a deeply moving narrative that showcases an unexpected voice from an established researcher. Through an unwavering commitment to a child’s perspective, Clara Han explores how […] (Link to online store)

Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea
James E Hoare
Rowman + Littlefield, 2020

From the publisher’s website: South Korea (Republic of Korea) is the more successful of the two Koreas in both economic and political terms. Even the Asian economic crisis of 1997–1998, which hit badly, was weathered successfully, and when the next crisis came along in 2007, South Korea coped better than many other countries. This economic […] (Link to online store)

Branded Entertainment in Korea
Yoon Hyunsun
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Branded Entertainment in Korea examines the varied texts and wider context of branded entertainment and related advertising and marketing communications practices in Korea. The book discusses the origins, development, current state, ethics, and regulations of branded entertainment in Korea, considering the impact and implications for communication users and regulators as well […] (Link to online store)

Study Abroad in Korea: Korean Language and Culture
Jieun Kiaer
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Study Abroad in Korea prepares students for study in Korean by providing the reader with key expressions and guidance on certain aspects of culture and language idiosyncratic to Korea, focusing on everyday scenarios. Key features include: Key expressions throughout the book, providing practical linguistic knowledge with jargon-free explanations. Exposes readers to contextualised, […] (Link to online store)

The Power of the Brush: Epistolary Practices in Chosŏn Korea
Hwisang Cho
University of Washington Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: The invention of an easily learned Korean alphabet in the mid-fifteenth century sparked an “epistolary revolution” in the following century as letter writing became an indispensable daily practice for elite men and women alike. The amount of correspondence increased exponentially as new epistolary networks were built among scholars and within families, […] (Link to online store)

Likeness and Legacy in Korean Portraiture
Ed Hyonjeong Kim Han
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This important book examines the history, process and significance of official portrait making during Korea’s Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)—the country’s last and longest-ruling Confucian dynasty. By highlighting significant pieces in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’s collection, including draft portraits of Bunmu meritorious officials and the portrait of Song Siyeol (1607-1689), […] (Link to online store)

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary North Korea
Ed Adrian Buzo
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary North Korea presents a comprehensive picture of contemporary North Korea, placed in historical context and set against the overlapping fields of politics, economy, culture, society and foreign relations. Spanning a period of significant transition for North Korea, this volume provides accurate analysis and applications of both historical and […] (Link to online store)

The Construction of Korean Culture in Korean Language Textbooks: Ideologies and Textbooks
Dong Bae Lee
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: The book examines the themes of cultural values, collective identity, political ideologies, and Korean cultural traditions throughout Korean language textbooks from the last 120 years. Through this analysis, the author explores the colonial, neo-colonial, and postcolonial contexts that have influenced South Korea. This work demonstrates the significant impact of textbooks and […] (Link to online store)

How to Live Korean
Soo Kim
White Lion Publishing, 2020

From the publisher’s website: How to Live Korean takes a deep-dive into Korean culture, unpacking what it means to be Korean in all its forms and uncovering the way the locals think, what they enjoy getting up to and who they do it with. Whether it’s Korean movie Parasite sweeping the Oscars, the explosion of […] (Link to online store)

Hope is Lonely
Kim Seung-hee tr Brother Anthony of Taizé
Arc Publications, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Kim Seung-Hee is regarded in her native Korea as being radically different from any other Korean poet, male or female, in her choice of themes and poetic expression as this selection from two of her recent collections demonstrates. Her poetry is strongly female and feminist, deeply personal, at times surreal, always […] (Link to online store)

Imperial Romance: Fictions of Colonial Intimacy in Korea, 1905–1945
Su Yun Kim
Cornell East Asia Series, 2020

From the publisher’s website: In Imperial Romance, Su Yun Kim argues that the idea of colonial intimacy within the Japanese empire of the early twentieth century had a far broader and more popular influence on discourse makers, social leaders, and intellectuals than previously understood. Kim investigates representations of Korean-Japanese intimate and familial relationships—including romance, marriage, and […] (Link to online store)

The Borderlands of China and Korea: Historical Changes in the Contact Zones of East Asia
Ed Yong-ku Cha
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This volume utilizes the concept of contact zones to reconceptualize the time and space around East Asian borders as meeting zones where multiple races, nations, and cultures interacted through the processes of exchange, coexistence, and acculturation. Focusing especially on the borderlands of China and Korea, the contributors document the shifts and […] (Link to online store)

Witnessing Gwangju: A Memoir
Paul Courtright
Hollym, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Witnessing Gwangju describes the life-altering experience of young Peace Corps volunteer, Paul Courtright.  Courtright was in the countryside of South Korea in 1980 to help leprosy patients. On the way back home from his medical checkup, Courtright was caught in the middle of what became known by some as the Gwangju Massacre, […] (Link to online store)

Kim Jong-un’s Strategy for Survival: A Method to Madness
David W Shin
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: In Kim Jong-un’s Strategy for Survival, David W. Shin contends that Kim Jong-un’s consolidation of power at home and the leveraging of Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, and Washington, and others abroad show that he is not a madman and, like the two earlier Kims, has consistently been underestimated. Shin presents an alternative framework […] (Link to online store)

Jeong Ho-seung tr Brother Anthony of Taizé
Seoul Selection, 2020

From the agent’s website: A gentle fable by the South Korean poet, which is like a balm for the reader.  The story is a simple one. A restless wanderer learns there is no place like home. This wanderer is a fish on a wind chime called Blue Goggle Eyes, and she is in love with […] (Link to online store)

Lonesome Jar
Jeong Ho-seung tr Brother Anthony of Taizé
Seoul Selection, 2020

Translator’s note: “Lonesome Jar” is a collection of 20 short fables expressing wisdom about life. These beautiful editions of translations of Jeong Ho-seung’s “children’s stories for grown-ups” benefit from the illustrations from the Korean editions. Contents: Author’s Preface • 5 | A Hangari Jar • 13 | Lovebirds • 22 | Flood Tide and Ebb […] (Link to online store)

Juche – How to Live Well the North Korean Way
Oliver Grant
Bantam Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: ‘Game changing. Juche is to shape the cultural zeitgeist just as The Little Book of Hygge did.’ Fern Brady ‘A book to bring shame upon our depraved morals and our wilted-spinach governments.’ Ivo Graham How did North Korea become the top-rated destination on Tripadvisor? The answer is Juche … ‘In this […] (Link to online store)

Mysterious Pyongyang: Cosmetics, Beauty Culture and North Korea
Ga-young Lee, Su-lan Chae, Sung-wook Nam
Palgrave, 2020

From the publisher’s website: This book is written with the belief that the peaceful unification of Korean Peninsula will be upon us on the day that every woman in North Korea uses South Korean and global cosmetics. The authors focus on understanding the intentions behind the three leaders of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il […] (Link to online store)