LKL book database logo

Upcoming books

Here are the upcoming Korea-related books that we’re particularly looking forward to – both fiction and non-fiction. There are probably loads more that we should be looking forward to, if only we knew about them. Sorted by anticipated publication date, with the most imminent titles at the top of the page. Some of the further-out dates may be a little bit speculative on our part; as we get nearer the time the dates will become clearer.

If you know about any titles you think we should be tracking, please let us know via the form at the bottom of this page. We can only log the titles we know about, so do tell!

Balancing Communities: Nation, State, and Protestant Christianity in Korea, 1884–1942

From the publisher’s website: Starting in 1884 with the arrival of the first resident Protestant missionary in Korea and ending with the expulsion of missionaries from the peninsula by the Japanese colonial government in 1942, Balancing Communities examines how the competing demands of communal identities and memberships shaped the early history of Protestantism in Korea. In so ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Beasts of a Little Land

It is 1917, and Korea is yet to be divided into north and south. With the threat of famine looming, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver’s courtesan school in cosmopolitan Pyongyang, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. But the city’s ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korea: A History

From the publisher’s website: The first English-language history of Korea that offers a balanced, comprehensive overview reflecting recent East Asian and Western scholarship While popular trends, cuisine, and long-standing political tension have made Korea familiar in some ways to a vast English-speaking world, those who follow K-Pop or North Korea’s nuclear weapons program have little ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Cultural History of Modern Korean Literature: The Birth of Oppa

A Cultural History of Modern Korean Literature: The Birth of Oppa examines the cultural and social impact of Japanese colonialism and modernity on the wider aspects of everyday life in Korea. Selected as an outstanding work in 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences in South Korea, is by any measure a remarkable work. Lee considers ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A History of Protestantism in Korea

This book provides a comprehensive overview of Protestant Christianity in Korea. It outlines the development of Christianity in Korea before Protestantism, considers the introduction of Protestantism in the late nineteenth century and its widening and profound impact, and goes on to discuss the situation up to the present. Throughout the book emphasises the importance of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Two Koreas and their Global Engagements

This book departs from existing studies by focusing on the impact of international influences on the society, culture, and language of both North and South Korea. Since President Kim Young Sam’s segyehwa drive of the mid-1990s, South Korea has become a model for successful globalization. In contrast, North Korea is commonly considered one of the least ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire

In 1973, Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor,” held his largest ever “crusade.” But he was not, as one might expect, in the American heartland, but in South Korea. Why there? Race for Revival seeks not only to answer that question, but to retell the story of modern American evangelicalism through its relationship with South Korea. With the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Old Woman with the Knife

From the publisher’s website: The kinetic story of a sixty-five-year-old female assassin who faces an unexpected threat in the twilight of her career—this is an international bestseller and the English language debut from an award-winning South Korean author  At sixty-five, Hornclaw is beginning to slow down. She lives modestly in a small apartment, with only her ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Borders of Chinese Architecture

An internationally acclaimed expert explains why Chinese-style architecture has remained so consistent for two thousand years, no matter where it is built. For the last two millennia, an overwhelming number of Chinese buildings have been elevated on platforms, supported by pillars, and covered by ceramic-tile roofs. Less obvious features, like the brackets connecting the pillars ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Historical Statistics of Korea

This book presents economic statistics of Korea in the past three centuries, focusing on the century following 1910. The data, typically time series rather than cross-sectional, are given in 22 chapters, which refer to population, wages, prices, education, health, national income and wealth, and technology, among others. Rather than simply putting together available data, the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Tigers Unchained: 100 Years of Korean Anarchism

From its introduction in the early-twentieth century during the National Liberation Movement to its influence on contemporary politics and culture, anarchism has had a deep, historical significance in Korea. Tigers Unchained explores that significance through lenses that are simultaneously political, cultural, historical, and aesthetic. This translation constitutes a major contribution to multiple fields, while providing new ways ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature

The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature consists of 35 chapters written by leaders in the field, who explore significant topics and who have pioneered innovative approaches. The collection highlights the most dynamic current scholarship on Korean literature, presenting rigorous literary analysis, interdisciplinary methodologies, and transregional thinking so as to provide a valuable and inspiring resource for researchers ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Korea

The phenomenon of South Korean Christianity is, in a word, remarkable. In less than 250 years, 29% of South Korea’s population adheres to Christianity, a staggering 71% of Korean Americans identify as Christian, and the powerful zeal of Korean Christians to spread the Gospel’s influence in South Korea already overshadows other established religious groups (i.e. ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Human Rights and Transnational Democracy in South Korea

Drawing on previously unused or underutilized archival sources, this book offers the first account of the historical intersection between South Korea’s democratic transition and the global human rights boom in the 1970s. It shows how local pro-democracy activists pragmatically engaged with global advocacy groups, especially Amnesty International and the World Council of Churches, to maximize ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Between the Streets and the Assembly: Social Movements and Political Parties for the Making of Democracy in Korea

Streets in Korea rarely go quiet without first having a public demonstration and Korean citizens are known as seasoned protestors, charting the course of national politics. Between the Streets and the Assembly explores how protest movements have become the prominent mode of democratic politics in Korea, in contrast to political parties in the National Assembly ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Park Seo-Bo: Écriture

This is the definitive monograph on the “godfather” of Korean contemporary art, master painter Park Seo-Bo, also the founder of Korea’s Dansaekhwa movement. Park Seo-Bo was born in 1931, in Yecheon, Gyeongbuk, South Korea, as part of a generation that was deeply affected by the Korean War (1950–1953). While in Paris in 1961, he initially ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Violets

NYT-bestselling author of PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM and winner of the International Man Booker Prize Kyung-Sook Shin’s VIOLETS – her first novel -, about a young woman who works in a flower shop and has been shunned by her female high school lover, which sets her apart from society and the world of Seoul. From ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Concerning My Daughter

When a mother allows her thirty-something daughter to move into her apartment, she wants for her what many mothers might say they want for their child: a steady income, and, even better, a good husband with a good job with whom to start a family. But when Green turns up with her girlfriend, Lane, in ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

North Korean Defectors in Diaspora: Identities, Mobilities, and Resettlements

This edited collection investigates the mobilities, resettlement practices, and identities of North Korean defectors who have relocated to the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and South Korea. The contributors to this volume examine the complex nature of defection from North Korea, highlighting the ways in which defectors renegotiate their identities in order to adapt ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Imaging Migration in Post-War Britain: Artists of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese Heritage

This book examines the artistic practices of a range of British-based artists of East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese) heritage in order to consider the social, political and cultural effects of migration or diaspora upon their creative production. Beccy Kennedy-Schtyk demonstrates three themes: the multiplicity and expansive contemporaneity of these artists’ visual oeuvres; the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Gwangju Uprising: The Rebellion for Democracy in South Korea

The essential account of the South Korean 1980 pro-democracy rebellion On 18 May 1980, student activists gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to protest the martial law government of General Chun Doo-hwan. The security forces responded with unmitigated violence. Hundreds of students, activists and citizens were arrested, tortured and murdered. This fresh translation ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Korea and the Fall of the Mongol Empire: Alliance, Upheaval, and the Rise of a New East Asian Order

Korea and the Fall of the Mongol Empire explores the experiences of the enigmatic and controversial King Gongmin of Goryeo, Wang Gi, as he navigated the upheavals of the mid-fourteenth century, including the collapse of the Mongol Empire and the rise of its successors in West, Central, and East Asia. Drawing on a wealth of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Cine-Mobility: Twentieth-Century Transformations in Korea’s Film and Transportation

In 1916, a group of Korean farmers and their children gathered to watch a film depicting the enthronement of the Japanese emperor. For this screening, a unit of the colonial government’s news agency brought a projector and generator by train to their remote rural town. Before the formation of commercial moviegoing culture for colonial audiences ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Hard Road Out: Escaping North Korea

The harrowing story of a woman who escaped famine and terror in North Korea, not once but twice. North Korea is an open-air prison from which there is no escape. Only a handful of men and women have succeeded. Jihyun Park is one of these rare survivors. Twice she left the land of the ‘socialist ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop

South Korea has the most remarkable of histories. Born from the ashes of colonialism, partition and a devastating war, back in the 1950s there were real doubts about its survival as an independent state. Yet South Korea did survive, and first became known globally for the export of cheap toys, shoes and clothing. Today, South ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Lazarus Heist: From Hollywood to High Finance: Inside North Korea’s Global Cyber War

Investigative journalist, author and broadcaster Geoff White is among the UK’s leading technology specialists, working for the BBC, Channel 4 News, The Sunday Times and many more. In a career spanning 20 years he has covered election hacking, the dark web, the personal data trade and the emergence of cybercrime as one of the primal ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Supercorporate: Distinction and Participation in Post-Hierarchy South Korea

What should South Korean offices look like in a post-hierarchical world? In Supercorporate, anthropologist Michael M. Prentice examines a central tension in visions of big corporate life in South Korea’s twenty-first century: should corporations be sites of fair distinction or equal participation? As South Korea distances itself from images and figures of a hierarchical past, Prentice ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea: Reflections and Future Directions

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea provides an in-depth look at the lives of families in Korea that include immigrants. Ten original chapters in this volume, written by scholars in multiple social science disciplines and covering different methodological approaches, aim to reinvigorate contemporary discussions about these multicultural families. Specially, the volume expands the scope of ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Sister

The onset of Covid-19 has coincided with the dramatic rise of a young woman called Kim Yo Jong in North Korea. Stomping the world stage from the shadows of her secretive state, she is creating headlines and fevered speculation about her role and her future. She is the sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Painter of the Wind

A heart-wrenching and gripping novel with over a million copies sold! Painter of the Wind is a masterful novel that was adapted into a popular, award winning South Korean TV series. This gem of a book also delights readers with a rare collection of thirty-four colour paintings, including Shin Yun-bok’s Portrait of a Beauty and Kim Hong-do’s Wrestling. Set ... [Read More]

Confucian Reform in Chosun Korea: Yu Hyŏngwŏn’s Pan’gye surok

Pan’gye surok (or “Pan’gye’s Random Jottings”) was written by the Korean scholar and social critic Yu Hyŏngwŏn (1622-1673), who proposed to reform the Joseon dynasty and realise an ideal Confucian society. It was recognised as a leading work of political science by Yu’s contemporaries and continues to be a key text in understanding the intellectual culture ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Spirit Power: Politics and Religion in Korea’s American Century

Synopsis not yet available Heonik Kwon is Senior Research Fellow of Social Anthropology at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and currently part of the Mega Asia research group at Seoul National University Asia Center. His previous works include After the Korean War: An Intimate History (Cambridge, 2020), The Other Cold War (Columbia, 2010), and Ghosts ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Privilege and Anxiety: The Korean Middle Class in the Global Era

In Privilege and Anxiety, Hagen Koo examines what has happened to the Korean middle class in the era of rapid globalization and demonstrates that the middle class has experienced significant changes in its social character. The middle classes in most advanced economies today are frequently described as being “squeezed” and “shrinking.” Globalization has inserted an “axis ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Mediating the South Korean Other: Representations and Discourses of Difference in the Post/Neocolonial Nation-State

Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads

An ethnography of advertising in postmillennial South Korea, Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads details contests over advertising freedoms and obligations among divergent vested interests while positing far-reaching questions about the social contract that governs advertising in late-capitalist societies. The term “flower of capitalism” is a clichéd metaphor for advertising in South Korea, bringing ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Song of Arirang: The Story of a Korean Rebel Revolutionary in China

From the publisher’s website: Song of Arirang tells the true story of Korean revolutionary Kim San (Jang Jirak), who left colonized Korea as a teenager to fight against Japanese imperialism and fought alongside Mao’s Red Army during the Chinese Revolution. First published in 1941, this remarkably intimate memoir (as told to the American journalist Nym ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories

This eclectic, moving and wonderfully enjoyable collection is the essential introduction to Korean literature. Journeying through Korea’s dramatic twentieth century, from the Japanese occupation and colonial era, to the devastating war between north and south and the rapid, disorienting urbanization of later decades, The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories captures a hundred years of Korea’s ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Rebel and the Kingdom: One Man’s Crusade to Overthrow the North Korean Regime

A gripping account of an Ivy League activist-turned-fugitive and his clandestine effort to overthrow the murderous North Korean regime, a heart-pounding investigation into personal agency and the price of freedom from the New York Times bestselling co-author of Billion Dollar Whale In the early 2000s Adrian Hong was a soft-spoken undergraduate at Yale who, like ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Table for One: Stories

From the publisher’s website: An office worker who has no one to eat lunch with enrolls in a course that builds confidence about eating alone. A man with a pathological fear of bedbugs offers up his body to save his building from infestation. A time capsule in Seoul is dug up hundreds of years before ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Wailing

Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing (2016) has been acclaimed as one of the very best horror films of recent years. In The Wailing, a mysterious illness turns its rural victims into comatose perpetrators of familicide. In the fog of an unknown spiritual war, police officer Jong-goo is helpless as his community fragments and suspicions turn to a mysterious Japanese ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Picture Bride

“Your husband is a landowner,” they told her. “Food and clothing is so plentiful, it grows on trees.” “You will be able to go to school.” Of the three lies the matchmaker told Willow before she left home as a picture bride in 1918, the third hurt the most. Never one to be deterred, Willow ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Minor Salvage The Korean War and Korean American Life Writings

The Korean War, often invoked in American culture as “the forgotten war,” was fought between 1950 and 1953 and ended with an infamous stalemate and the construction of the Korean Peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone. Millions of Korean civilians and refugees were left behind, some of whom would go onto live in the United States. Minor Salvage ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Stranger than Paradise

No official synopsis available. Here’s a review from Korean Literature Now: The novel Stranger than Paradise offers a unique narrative structure with each character’s point of view accessible to the reader. The book reads like a road trip movie telling the story of two men and a woman traveling in a car. Kim and Choi are the ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Broken Summer

No official synopsis available yet From Kyobo bookstore website, run through Papago: Lee Jung-myung’s new novel “Broken Summer,” which opened a new horizon for Korean-style fiction, was published by Ginkgo Tree Publishing Company with works that exquisitely combine big materials such as “Deep Root Tree,” “Flower Garden of the Wind,” and “Wind Passing the Star.” ... [Read More]

Walking Practice

No further details other than this announcement on Barbara J Zitwer’s Facebook page: The astounding debut novel, Walking Practice, by Korean author Dolki Min pre-empted by Tara Parsons for HarperVIA Books! Translated by the brilliant Victoria Caudle and coming to readers in 2023 in English. The reading world will never be the same! As for ... [Read More]

The Korean Cinema Book

Publisher description: The volume provides the first detailed and authoritative overview of Korean cinema history, and in so doing develops new historical and critical understandings of Korean cinema from the period of Japanese colonial rule to the present day, with two very different cinematic traditions in this divided peninsula. The contributed chapters approach the subject ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

Justifying Violence on Korea’s Cold War Frontlines: The Life and Representations of Kim Tu-han

The son of a nationalist martyr, Kim Tu-han (1918-1972) rose to prominence as a mobster in 1930s Seoul. As conditions shifted, he deployed his gang first as a construction corps supporting the Japanese war effort, then as a progressive force, and, most successfully, as an anti-communist vigilante group. After narrowly escaping the death sentence for ... [Read More] (Link to online store)

The Consultant

From the feature in the Korea Times: “The Consultant” is not your average thriller. It revolves around a young aspiring novelist who, unbeknownst to himself, becomes part of a hit squad. Upon the requests of his clients, the protagonist conducts elaborate amounts of research and planning in order to make planned murders look natural, creating ... [Read More]

Can’t I go instead?

No official synposis yet. From Yes24 website, run through Papago translation engine: The icon of youth literature, author Lee Geum’s first historical novel, “A Girl’s Attractive Life Trip Ready to Go Her Way Anytime,” there, can I go? In short, there is a person who lived a life that no one could have dreamed of ... [Read More]

This list can only contain the books we know about. So if you’re aware of an upcoming book that we should be tracking, whether fiction or non-fiction, let us know about it. If it’s literature in translation, we’ll definitely add it. If it’s non-fiction, we’ll probably add it, but reserve the right to politely decline because hours in the day, and database space, are finite resources.