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Booklist: notable titles from 2021

Here is a list of titles published in 2021 that we’ve been tracking and even hoping to read: literature in translation, Korea-related fiction and poetry in English, plus notable non-fiction titles.

Sorted by date of publication, most recent first.

Record of the Seasonal Customs of Korea: Tongguk sesigi by Toae Hong Sŏk-mo

Record of the Seasonal Customs of Korea (Tongguk sesigi) is one of the most important primary sources for anyone interested in traditional Korean cultural and social practices. The manuscript was completed in 1849 by Toae Hong Sŏk-mo, a wealthy poet and scholar from an influential family. Toae, with his keen interest in the habits and customs ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Three Water Drop Brothers

Graphically gorgeous, with sweetness and flair, this is a book to get any kid hooked on the wonders of the water cycle! A long, long time ago, when the earth was extremely hot, a huge amount of vapor was released, creating clouds. As the clouds got bigger and heavier, it started to rain. Three of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Moral and Religious Thought of Yi Hwang (Toegye): A Study of Korean Neo-Confucian Ethics and Spirituality

From the publisher’s website: This book presents Yi Hwang (1501–1570)—better known by his pen name, Toegye—Korea’s most eminent Confucian philosopher. It is a pioneering study of Toegye’s moral and religious thought that discusses his holistic ideas and experiences as a scholar, thinker, and spiritual practitioner, thereby deepening or enriching our modern understanding of Confucianism as ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Societal Codification of Korean English

From the publisher’s website: From K-pop to kimchi, Korean culture is becoming increasingly popular on the world stage. This cultural internationalisation is also mirrored linguistically, in the emergence and development of Korean English. Often referred to as ‘Konglish’, this book describes how the two terms in fact refer to different things and explains how Koreans ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Invented Traditions in North and South Korea

Almost forty years after the publication of Hobsbawm and Ranger’s The Invention of Tradition, the subject of invented traditions—cultural and historical practices that claim a continuity with a distant past but which are in fact of relatively recent origin—is still relevant, important, and highly contentious. Invented Traditions in North and South Korea examines the ways in which compressed modernity, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Understanding Korean Film: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Film viewing presents a unique situation in which the film viewer is unwittingly placed in the role of a multimodal translator, finding themselves entirely responsible for interpreting multifaceted meanings at the mercy of their own semiotic repertoire. Yet, researchers have made little attempt, as they have for literary texts, to explain the gap in translation ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Tradition and Creativity in Korean Taegŭm Flute Performance

Tradition and Creativity in Korean Taegŭm Flute Performance describes the taegŭm as a representation of Korean culture in the contemporary world. Through the development and performance of creative works, this horizontal bamboo flute reflects both tradition and contemporary creativity. The first part of the book outlines the historical background of the taegŭm. The author illuminates ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of the Twenty-First Century

From the publisher’s website: In Hegemonic Mimicry, Kyung Hyun Kim considers the recent global success of Korean popular culture—the Korean wave of pop music, cinema, and television also known as hallyu—from a transnational and transcultural perspective. Using the concept of mimicry to think through hallyu’s adaptation of American sensibilities and genres, he shows how the commercialization ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korean Immigrants from Latin America: Fitting into Multiethnic New York

Korean Immigrants from Latin America explores the migration and resettlement experiences of Koreans from Latin America now residing in the New York metropolitan area. It uses interview data from 102 Korean secondary migrants from Latin America to explore the religious, familial, economic, and educational dimensions of their migration and resettlement processes in the U.S. As Korean ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan: Elite Graffiti in Premodern Korea

North Korea’s Kŭmgangsan is one of Asia’s most celebrated sacred mountain ranges, comparable in fame to Mount Tai in China and Mount Fuji in Japan. Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan marks a paradigm shift in the research about East Asian mountains by introducing an entirely new field: autographic rock graffiti. The book details how late Chosŏn (ca. 1600–1900 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The North Korean Conundrum: Balancing Human Rights and Nuclear Security

North Korea is consistently identified as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. However, the issue of human rights in North Korea is a complex one, intertwined with issues like life in the North Korean police state, inter-Korean relations, denuclearization, access to information in the North, and international cooperation, to name a few. There ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Love in the Big City

A fresh and unique debut novel by the bestselling young star of Korean queer fiction. Love in the Big City is an energetic, joyful, and moving novel that depicts both the glittering nighttime world of Seoul and the bleary-eyed morning-after. Young is a cynical yet fun-loving Korean student who pinballs from home to class to the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Education in South Korea: Reflections on a Seventy-Year Journey

From the publisher’s website: This book, the result of a landmark colloquium held in Korea to reflect on the role of education in Korean society, provides fascinating insights into the interplay of political evolution and pedagogy. Korea has gone from one of the world’s poorest societies after the Korean War to one of its richest, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and from North Korea

In this unique and insightful book, Markus Bell explores the hidden histories of the men, women, and children who traveled from Japan to the world’s most secretive state—North Korea. Through vivid ethnographic details and interviews with North Korean escapees, Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and from North Korea reveals the driving forces that propelled thousands of ordinary ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Lemon

‘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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Cabinet

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 office worker whose job it is to look after the cabinet, the symptomers are a headache; ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Constitution of South Korea: A Contextual Analysis

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Sound of the Border: Music and Identity of Korean Minority Nationality in China

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. ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Future Yet to Come: Sociotechnical Imaginaries in Modern Korea

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 discuss Korea’s dynastic past, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Interpreting Modernism in Korean Art: Fluidity and Fragmentation

This book examines the development of national emblems, photographic portraiture, oil painting, world expositions, modern spaces for art exhibitions, university programs of visual arts, and other agencies of modern art in Korea. With few books on modern art in Korea available in English, this book is an authoritative volume on the topic and provides a ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Cave Boys (K-Poet 22)

K-Poet series that meets both Korean and English at the same time. Poet Lee Seol-ya’s 『Cave Boys』 was published as the 22nd collection of poems. From his first collection of poems, We Decided to Get Darker, the poet’s poetry clock, who dictated the voices of the marginalized and the suffering, and never neglected to listen ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Candlelight Movement, Democracy, and Communication in Korea

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, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Long Road to Justice: Stories from the Frontlines in Asia

A constant stream of impoverished women and girls have been, and are being, enslaved and abused in the Asia Pacific region. Slavery is not a historical issue – it’s happening today. History is repeating itself. Through Sylvia Yu Friedman’s work in journalism, counter-trafficking and philanthropy, she has had rare and incredible access to victims of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Beginning the End (K-Poet 21)

Poet Kim Keun’s 『Beginning the End』 was published as the 21st collection of K-poet poems in Korean and English. Poet Kim Keun’s new poetry collection, who debuted in 1998 and published poems such as 『Bam Boy’s Outing』, 『See you at the Cloud Theater』 and 『When you wash your face in the dark』, is divided into ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

It’s OK, Slow Lizard

In a lush, sun-dappled forest, animal friends discover the advantages of living slowly, in this soothing picture book from beloved South Korean author and illustrator Yeorim Yoon and Jian Kim. Little Bird is all aflutter―too many things to do. Elephant cries with frustration when a shoelace breaks. Rabbit tries so hard and loses the race ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Koreans in Transnational Diasporas of the Russian Far East and Manchuria, 1895–1920: Arirang People

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, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

On Translating Modern Korean Poetry

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Waiting

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Magic Candies

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Soft Power of the Korean Wave: Parasite, BTS and Drama

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Encyclopedia of Daily Life: A Woman’s Guide to Living in Late-Chosŏn Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Movie Minorities: Transnational Rights Advocacy and South Korean Cinema

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Letters of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon

Our translations of the 20 or so letters written by Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon during the 4 years of travel and adventure prior to his death in 1846 have now been published by The Research Foundation of Korean Church History, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth on August 21, 1821. In addition to the ... [Read More]

Moon Pops

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Women in the Sky: Gender and Labor in the Making of Modern Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

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

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

The World’s Lightest Motorcycle

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Crying in H Mart

The No. 2 New York Times Bestseller From the indie rock star Japanese Breakfast, an unflinching, powerful, deeply moving memoir about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Prisoner

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Contemporary Korean Shamanism: From Ritual to Digital

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Surviving Imperial Intrigues: Korea’s Struggle for Neutrality amid Empires, 1882–1907

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Graphic Design From South Korea

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, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Future of the Korean Peninsula: Korea 2032 and Beyond

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Culture Smart! Korea: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions

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 fields have to account ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Interviews with North Korean Defectors: From Kim Shin-jo to Thae Yong-ho

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Korean War and Postmemory Generation: Contemporary Korean Arts and Films

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’, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Cursed Bunny

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

William Franklin Sands in Late Choson Korea, 1896–1904: At the Deathbed of Empire

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Gold Rush (K-Fiction 030)

“Gold Rush” by Su-jin Seo, an epic of the cool end The 30th work of K-Fiction. Writer Seo Su-jin’s short story ‘Gold Rush’ tells the story of Seo-in and Jin-woo, a couple living in Australia. Writer Sujin Seo started her work after receiving the Hankyoreh Literary Award in 2020 for 『Korean Teacher』, and currently lives ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korean Wild Geese Families: Gender, Family, Social, and Legal Dynamics of Middle-Class Asian Transnational Families in North America

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, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

North Korea in a Nutshell: A Contemporary Overview

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Stitching the 24-Hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Shoko’s Smile

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, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Pillar of Books

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

To the Warm Horizon

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Language and Truth in North Korea

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; ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Tiger Swallowtail (K-Poet 20)

It is a collection of poems in the domain of Tiger Swallowtail by Hwang Gyu-gwan, the 20th collection of poems by K-Poet. In 1993, he began his work by winning the Jeon Tae-il Literature Award and published poetry books such as Cheolsan-dong Post Office, Water Goes its Way, defeat is My Power, Waiting for the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Chemistry of Korean Foods and Beverages

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Rights Claiming in South Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

On the Origin of Species and Other Stories

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 for the first time ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Forest of Stolen Girls

Suspenseful and richly atmospheric, June Hur’s The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting historical mystery sure to keep readers guessing until the last page. 1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest near a gruesome crime scene. Years later, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Catcalling

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

British Extraterritoriality in Korea, 1884 – 1910: A comparison with Japan

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Transnational Hallyu: The Globalization of Korean Digital and Popular Culture

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Polarized Politics in South Korea: Political Culture and Democracy in Partisan Newspapers

South Korea is one of the most successful cases of democratization and economic growth in the world. It shares one troubling problem with many other countries in recent years: the visible increase of extreme polarization in the language and emotions of political topics. However, Korea has experienced this problem much earlier. The history created weak ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

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

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook (2nd Ed)

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Suicide Parasite (K-Poet 19)

This is a new collection of poems by poet Kim Seong-gyu, who made his debut in 2004 and persistently looked into the other side of his life by publishing poetry books such as 『You flew by mistake』 and 『When will Heaven collect the broken ones』. As can be seen in the title song “Suicide Parasite”, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Patterns of Impunity: Human Rights in North Korea and the Role of the U.S. Special Envoy

As the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights from 2009 to 2017, Ambassador Robert R. King led efforts to ensure that human rights were an integral part of U.S. policy with North Korea. In this book, he traces U.S. involvement and interest in North Korean human rights, from the adoption of the North ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Arriving in a Thick Fog

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in the United States

Through new research and materials, Edward T. Chang proves in Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in the United States that Dosan Ahn Chang Ho established the first Koreatown in Riverside, California in early 1905. Chang reveals the story of Pachappa Camp and its roots in the diasporic Korean community’s independence movement efforts for their homeland during the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korea 1905–1945: From Japanese Colonialism to Liberation and Independence

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Happy Together (K-Fiction 029)

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

South Korea’s Webtooniverse and the Digital Comic Revolution

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

I’m Waiting for You: And Other Stories

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 entirely original structure, which ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

North Korea and the Geopolitics of Development

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Financial Liberalization and Economic Development in Korea, 1980–2020

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 from a credit card ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

From Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: How the Hardliners Prevailed: On the Political History of North Korea (2007 – 2020)

In the summer of 2008, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke. That same year he named his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor and began to promote him among the North Korean elite. At the same time, the military gained influence. Foreign, domestic, and economic policy hardened. It was obvious ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korean “Comfort Women”: Military Brothels, Brutality, and the Redress Movement

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Glossolalia and the Problem of Language

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Becoming Kim Jong Un: Understanding North Korea’s Young Dictator

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Digital Media, Online Activism, and Social Movements in Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Seoul & Chemulpo Railroad: The First Railroad of Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Communicating Food in Korea

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Toward Democracy: South Korean Culture and Society, 1945–1980

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

My Brilliant Life

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Soju: A Global History

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Neo-Confucianism and Science in Korea: Humanity and Nature, 1706-1814

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Redemption and Regret: Modernizing Korea in the Writings of James Scarth Gale

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Happy Traitor: Spies, Lies and Exile in Russia: The Extraordinary Story of George Blake

In 1961, Blake was sentenced to forty-two years imprisonment – at the time, the longest sentence in modern British history. He had betrayed all the western spying operations that he knew about to the KGB. This included the names of hundreds of British agents working around the world. About forty of them are believed to ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Tower

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Decoding the Sino-North Korean Borderlands

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The History of Modern Korean Fiction (1890-1945): The Topography of Literary Systems and Form

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 ... [Read More] (Link to online store)