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K-Lit Hub

Want to track down more translations by your favourite authors? Want to read a particular story, and also want to know which anthologies it’s in, and which anthology has the best other stories to enjoy? You’ve come to the right place.

Below are the Korean authors whose work has been translated into English. Click on any of the names to go to a page which should have:

  • A list of works that have been translated into English as books, where that author is the only author represented in that publication. So: novels, short story and poetry collections by that author.
  • A list of that author’s short stories or poems that have been translated into English as part of a multi-author anthology, with the name of the anthology that the story has been published in. Where we know that an anthology contains works by an author but there’s no information as to which specific works, those anthologies are listed separately.
  • An archive of posts by LKL referencing that author – maybe reviews of some of the books.

If, when browsing through the pages, you find a publisher’s name or a translator’s name active as a link, click on it and you’ll be taken to a similar list of titles by that translator / publisher.

Thanks are due in particular to Brother Anthony, whose literature in translation pages (pre 2000 | 2001 – 2011 | post 2012) were a major source of data for this project. His site is a tremendous resource in general.

There are two lists: one which sorts the names alphabetically by the romanisation used on this site. That is a long story in itself, being a combination of the official Ministry of Culture romanisation, the author’s preferred romanisation according to the LTI Korea Database, M-R where the only source of information has used that system, and whatever spelling the publisher happens to have put on the front cover. The other list sorts by the writer’s name in hangul. The latter list is marginally shorter because for some authors (particularly those from North Korea) it has not yet been possible to determine (or reverse-engineer) the correct Korean spelling.

Here we go:

Korean writers and poets available in English translation

Sorted by Hangul spelling

Sorted by English spelling

I’d estimate the K-Lit database is around 97% complete in terms of titles I know about: I’ve logged almost 1,550 items out of 1,600. I have, for the moment, consciously excluded four buckets which make up the 3%. I am aware that particularly items 1 and 2 below could be a bottomless pit.

  1. Short stories included in magazines and periodicals such as Azalea, Asian Review of Books, and LTI Korea’s New Writing from Korea volumes – in the case of the latter, they’re pretty darn difficult to track down anyway. And cataloguing the contents is too arduous a task.
  2. Short stories made available for free online, such as on Brother Anthony’s website or in online magazines such as Words Without Borders. That might be a subsequent phase of the project
  3. The largely colonial-era titles in LTI Korea’s iPad App. Again, I might get around to that at some point.
  4. Items published in translation prior to 1980 where they seem to be high-on impossible to source.

Let me know if you have any feedback.

And yes, Charles, Buckwheat is indeed the most-anthologised story in the database, at 8 (so far, and still counting).