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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.

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!

BookPub dateCover image

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Mar 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Mar 2021

20 Years 20 Days: Reflections from Prison
Shin Young-bok
Meredith Victory

Exact publication date not known. Visit the publisher’s website for up-to-date info Reflections from Prison is a collection of  letters and essays from renowned Korean thinker Shin Young-Bok written during his 20 years as a political prisoner under the military government. ​The letters range from post cards to tiny characters squeezed onto his Army Prison daily […]

Mar 2021

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

From the publisher’s website: In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure–through relativity–they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further […] (Amazon link)

Apr 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Apr 2021

Maninbo: The Boy in the Cave (Ten Thousand Lives, 2)
Ko Un tr Brother Anthony of Taizé, Lee Sang-wha
Green Integer

Ko Un conceived of his magnum opus in a military prison, vowing to write a poem for every person he has ever known. His Maninbo has now amassed 4,001 poems contained in 30 volumes, memorializing a vast array of individuals. Volumes 21–30, selected for translation here, are dedicated to the victims of two great acts […] (Amazon link)

Apr 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Apr 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

May 2021

Lee Soho tr Soje
Open Letter

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 […] (Amazon link)

May 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

May 2021

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

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; […] (Amazon link)

May 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jun 2021

Shoko’s Smile
Choi Eun-young tr Sung Ryu

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jun 2021

Painter of the Wind
Lee Jung-myung tr Hannah Pang
Harriet Press

From the publisher’s website: 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 […]

Jun 2021

Cursed Bunny
Chung Bora tr Anton Hur
Honford Star

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jul 2021

The Korean Cinema Book
Julian Stringer, Nikki Lee

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jul 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jul 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Aug 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Aug 2021

Magic Candies
Baek Heena tr Sophie Bowman
Amazon Crossing

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 […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2021

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2021

Love in the Big City
Park Sang-young tr Anton Hur
Tilted Axis

Exact 2021 publication date not known According to an interview with the author by the translator, It’s what we call an “omnibus novel” in Korea, where a set of short stories are loosely connected to each other to form a larger narrative. As to what it’s about . . . if I may be a […]

Oct 2021

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

Scheduled for Autumn 2021. From the agent’s website: “In 2002, my sister was murdered. Like someone who doesn’t realize spring is over, I didn’t know I’d lost myself. Lemon, lemon, lemon, my revenge has finally begun.” In the summer of the 2002, when Korea is abuzz with the Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup, a beautiful nineteen-year-old […] (Amazon link)

Oct 2021

Kim Un-su tr Sean Lin Hilbert
Angry Robot

From the agent’s website: The Cabinet is a story about the documents that record these symptomers and the man who manages the documents in Cabinet 13. This seemingly ordinary, old cabinet is filled with stories that are peculiar, strange, eye-pop- ping, disgusting, enraging, and touching. However, the fast changing world is also full of all […]

Oct 2021

Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of the Twenty-First Century
Kyung Hyun Kim
Duke University Press

From the publisher’s website: “Hegemonic Mimicry presents a much-needed update on today’s South Korean pop culture—one of the most fascinating epicenters of global cultural flows. Presenting a probing insight into a wide spectrum of media productions, it is bound to be a must-read for those hoping capture symptomatic signs of the new millennium.” — Suk-Young Kim, […] (Amazon link)

Oct 2021

Table for One: Stories
Yun Ko-eun tr Lizzie Buehler
Columbia University Press

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jan 2022

Shin Kyung-sook tr Anton Hur
Feminist Press, Weidenfeld + Nicolson

Exact 2022 publication date not known NYT-bestselling author of PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM and winner of the International Man Booker Prize Kyung-Sook Shin’s VIOLET, 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.

Mar 2022

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.