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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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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)

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

From the agent’s website: An award-winning debut from Choi Eunyoung, Shoko’s Smile is a collection of five short stories and two novellas that explore the joys and heartbreaks of human relationships as they blossom and wither. Largely following the nuanced relationships of women—between friends, lovers, and family—the book is a microscopic, almost obsessive, study of […] (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)

Catcalling
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
Daeyeol Ku
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)

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)

Tower
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)

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)

Loving
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)

A Korean Odyssey: Island Hopping in Choppy Waters
Michael Gibb
Camphor Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Michael Gibb embarks on an eccentric odyssey around the wind-swept islands off the coast of South Korea in search of life beyond K-pop, high-tech gadgetry and nuclear missile tests. With well over three thousand islands to choose from, there was no shortage of destinations, all connected by the indomitable ferries that ply […] (Link to online store)

Korean Culture Dictionary: From Kimchi To K-Pop And K-Drama Clichés
Edward Leary, Woosung Kang
New Ampersand, 2020

From the publisher’s catalogue: Before reading this book, you probably had some moments of curiosity in your life where you questioned certain things about Korean culture. Why is there a Pepsi logo on the Korean flag? Why do Korean kids in my class only have like… three last names (Kim, Lee, Park)? If you are […] (Link to online store)

Beautiful and Useless
Kim Min-jeong tr Jake Levine, Soeun Seo
Black Ocean, 2020

From the publisher’s website: In Beautiful and Useless, Kim Min Jeong exposes the often funny and contradictory rifts that appear in the language of everyday circumstance. She uses slang, puns, cultural referents, and ‘naughty, unwomanly” language in order to challenge readers to expand their ideas of not only what a poem is, but also how […] (Link to online store)

North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors
Daniel Tudor, James Pearson
Tuttle, 2020

From the publisher’s website: What is life in North Korea really like? This fascinating book by celebrated journalists Daniel Tudor and James Pearson explores that very question. The authors interview experts and tap a broad variety of sources to provide a startling insider’s view of the secretive North Korean society, including: Members of Pyongyang’s ruling […] (Link to online store)

The Koreas: The Birth of Two Nations Divided
Theodore Jun Yoo
University of California Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: What history, pop culture, and diaspora can teach us about North and South Korea today. Korea is one of the last divided countries in the world. Twins born of the Cold War, one is vilified as an isolated, impoverished, time-warped state with an abysmal human rights record and a reclusive leader […] (Link to online store)

Nineteen
Ancco tr Janet Hong
Drawn + Quarterly, 2020

From the publisher’s website: At nineteen, the idea that you have your whole life ahead of you with endless possibilities can leave you terrifyingly stiff. Throwing mobility to the wind, you dull yourself with booze. The grownups around you are stunted by their own failures so they act out—with alcohol, too, sometimes with violence. What […] (Link to online store)

South Korean Popular Culture and North Korea
Ed Youna Kim
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Over recent decades South Korea’s vibrant and distinctive populist culture has spread extensively throughout the world. This book explores how this “Korean wave” has also made an impact in North Korea. The book reveals that although South Korean media have to be consumed underground and unofficially in North Korea, they are widely watched […] (Link to online store)

Films of Bong Joon Ho
Nam Lee
Rutgers University Press, 2020

Publisher description: Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar® for Best Director for Parasite (2019), which also won Best Picture, the first foreign film to do so, and two other Academy Awards. Parasite was the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. These achievements mark a new career peak for the director, who first achieved wide […] (Link to online store)

Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards
Bong Joon-ho
Hachette USA, 2020

Discover the illustrations that inspired the historic, OSCAR(R)-winning film’s every shot in this graphic novel drawn by Director Bong Joon Ho himself. So metaphorical: With hundreds of mesmerizing illustrations, Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of one of the best films in years and a brand-new way to experience a […] (Link to online store)

Feeling Never Stops (K-Poet 16)
Ahn Joo-cheol tr Brother Anthony of Taizé
Asia Publishers, 2020

Text from the listing on the Interpark website, fed through the Microsoft translation engine where necessary: ‘Informal Sadness’ That Doesn’t Make the Edge of Tears Joo-Chul Ahn’s New Poem Collection Feeling Never Stops The ‘K-Poet’ series introduces the essence of Korean poetry that you always want to read at your bedside. Korean poetry, which will […] (Link to online store)

Voices of the Korean Minority in Postwar Japan: Histories Against the Grain
Erik Ropers
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Shedding new light on how the histories of zainichi Koreans have been written, consumed, and discussed, this book addresses the roots of postwar debates concerning the wartime experiences of Koreans in Japan. Providing an overview of the complicated historiography, it explores the experiences of Koreans located at Ground Zero in Hiroshima and […] (Link to online store)

HappyLand (K-Poet 15)
Kim Hae-ja tr Deborah Smith
Asia Publishers, 2020

This title is listed only on the LTI Korea website. It is available from Kyobo bookstore, but probably nowhere outside of Korea. The following description is from the Korean on the Kyobo website, fed through Papago I met the sky alive, so I accomplished everything. Kim Hae-ja’s new collection of poems, “Happy Land”. “K-Poet” series […] (Link to online store)

Newcomers and Global Migration in Contemporary South Korea: Across National Boundaries
Ed Sung-Choon Park and Joong-Hwan Oh
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Newcomers and Global Migration in Contemporary South Korea: Across National Boundaries examines the intersections of race, class, gender and inequalities in global migration in contemporary South Korea. The contributors explore South Korean migration policies and study diverse migrants living and working in South Korea as low-wage undocumented workers, refugees, Korean returnees, migrant […] (Link to online store)

The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea: The Chonon (Testament) by Chong Chedu (Hagok)
Chŏng Chedu, Edward Y J Chung tr Edward Y J Chung
Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Translated, edited, and introduced by Edward Y. J. Chung, The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea: The Chonŏn (Testament) by Chŏng Chedu (Hagok), is the first study in a Western language of Chŏng Chedu (Hagok, 1649–1736) and Korean Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism. Hagok was an eminent philosopher who established the unorthodox Yangming school […] (Link to online store)

One Left
Kim Soom tr Bruce Fulton, Ju-chan Fulton
University of Washington Press, 2020

During the Pacific War, more than 200,000 Korean girls were forced into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers. They lived in horrific conditions in “comfort stations” across Japanese-occupied territories. Barely 10 percent survived to return to Korea, where they lived as social outcasts. Since then, self-declared comfort women have come forward only to have their testimonies […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

Yi Sang: Selected Works
Yi Sang tr Don Mee Choi, Jack Jung, Joyelle McSweeney, Sawako Nakayasu
Wave Books, 2020

Formally audacious and remarkably compelling, Yi Sang’s works were uniquely situated amid the literary experiments of world literature in the early twentieth century and the political upheaval of 1930s Japanese occupied Korea. While his life ended prematurely at the age of twenty-seven, Yi Sang’s work endures as one of the great revolutionary legacies of modern […] (Link to online store)

K-Pop Confidential
Stephan Lee
Chicken House, 2020

From the publisher’s website: A Korean-American girl travels to Seoul in hopes of debuting in a girl group at the same K-pop company behind the most popular boy band on the planet, in this romantic coming-of-age novel perfect for K-pop fans everywhere! Candace Park knows a lot about playing a role. For most of her […] (Link to online store)

Some Are Always Hungry
Jihyun Yun
University of Nebraska Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Some Are Always Hungry chronicles a family’s wartime survival, immigration, and heirloom trauma through the lens of food, or the lack thereof. Through the vehicle of recipe, butchery, and dinner table poems, the collection negotiates the myriad ways diasporic communities comfort and name themselves […] (Link to online store)

The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Choson in Sinographic Writing
Park Sinae
Columbia University Press, 2020

As the political, economic, and cultural center of Choson Korea, eighteenth-century Seoul epitomized a society in flux: It was a bustling, worldly metropolis into which things and people from all over the country flowed. In this book, Si Nae Park examines how the culture of Choson Seoul gave rise to a new vernacular narrative form […] (Link to online store)

Aspiring to Enlightenment: Pure Land Buddhism in Silla Korea
Richard D McBride II
University of Hawai'i Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Centered on the practice of seeking rebirth in the Pure Land paradise Sukhāvatī, the Amitābha cult has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea since the middle of the Silla period (ca. 300–935). In Aspiring to Enlightenment, Richard McBride combines analyses of scriptural, exegetical, hagiographical, epigraphical, art historical, and literary materials to […] (Link to online store)

Unexpected Vanilla
Lee Hyemi tr Soje
Tilted Axis, 2020

A sensual, surrealist collection by a young feminist poet, in an equally sensuous and sensitive queer translation. Lee Hyemi’s poetry is characterized by fluidity and wetness, with subjects moving about and soaking in each other through curious means. Unexpected Vanilla’s exchange of liquids often involves sex, but intercourse can be nonsexual: drinking tea or alcohol, going to […] (Link to online store)

The Diary of 1636: The Second Manchu Invasion of Korea
Na Man-gap tr George Kallander
Columbia University Press, 2020

Publisher description: Early in the seventeenth century, Northeast Asian politics hung in a delicate balance among the Chosŏn dynasty in Korea, the Ming in China, and the Manchu. When a Chosŏn faction realigned Korea with the Ming, the Manchu attacked in 1627 and again a decade later, shattering the Chosŏn-Ming alliance and forcing Korea to […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop
Crystal S Anderson
University Press of Mississippi, 2020

From the publisher’s website: K-pop (Korean popular music) reigns as one of the most popular music genres in the world today, a phenomenon that appeals to listeners of all ages and nationalities. In Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop, Crystal S. Anderson examines the most important and often overlooked aspect of K-pop: the […] (Link to online store)

Forty Two Greens
Mah Chonggi tr Cho Young-shil
Codhill Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: The poems in this book, by the way they speak to all parts of our minds, invite us to come alive and experience each movement, each emotion and action, and some statements therein, intuitively and aesthetically. This is about a Korean man’s everyday life in the milieu of contemporary America; his […] (Link to online store)

Body and Ki in GiCheon – Practices of Self-Cultivation in Contemporary Korea
Victoria Ten
Ergon, 2020

This is the first English language book that studies contemporary practices of self-cultivation in South Korea called ki suryŏn (氣修練 training related to ki – “life energy”), reinvented in modernity similarly to Indian yoga and Chinese qigong. I focus on GiCheon, one of the ki suryŏn practices. By Victoria Ten (Jeon Yeon Hwa) https://www.ergon-shop.de/titel/body-and-ki-in-gicheon-id-89162/ (Link to online store)

Moms
Ma Yeong-shin tr Janet Hong
Drawn + Quarterly, 2020

From the publisher’s website: An outrageously funny book about middle-aged women that reexamines romance, lust, and gender norms. Translated from Korean by Janet Hong. Lee Soyeon, Myeong-ok, and Yeonjeong are all mothers in their mid-fifties. And they’ve had it. They can no longer bear the dead weight of their partners or the endless grind of […] (Link to online store)

Re-evolution: Selected Poems by Kim Chi-ha
Kim Chi-ha tr Choi Jongyoll
Jain Publishing, 2020

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

Peace Corps Volunteers and the Making of Korean Studies in the United States
Ed Seung-kyung Kim and Michael Robinson
University of Washington Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: From 1966 through 1981 the Peace Corps sent more than two thousand volunteers to South Korea, to teach English and provide healthcare. A small yet significant number of them returned to the United States and entered academia, forming the core of a second wave of Korean studies scholars. How did their […] (Link to online store)

Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea
Hyaeweol Choi
Cambridge University Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: Hyaeweol Choi examines the formation of modern gender relations in Korea from a transnational perspective. Diverging from a conventional understanding of ‘secularization’ as a defining feature of modernity, Choi argues that Protestant Christianity, introduced to Korea in the late nineteenth century, was crucial in shaping modern gender ideology, reforming domestic practices […] (Link to online store)

Imperatives of Care: Women and Medicine in Colonial Korea
Sonja Kim
University of Hawai'i Press, 2020

From the publisher’s website: In late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Korea, public health priorities in maternal and infant welfare privileged the new nation’s reproductive health and women’s responsibility for care work to produce novel organization of services in hospitals and practices in the home. The first monograph on this topic, Imperatives of Care places women […] (Link to online store)

Almond
Sohn Won-pyung tr Lee Joosun
HarperVia, 2020

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me. Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to […] (Link to online store)

If I Had Your Face
Frances Cha
Penguin, 2020

From the publisher’s website: A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania “Powerful and provocative … a novel about female strength, spirit, resilience—and the solace […] (Link to online store)