Past titles

This page is work-in-progress. Currently it includes certain Korea-related non-fiction, and Korean literature in translation titles published since the beginning of 2020, sorted by publication date.

BookPub dateCover image

Films of Bong Joon Ho
Nam Lee
Rutgers University Press

Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar(R) 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 international acclaim with […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2020

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2020

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

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 it was intended to […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2020

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2020

Yi Sang: Selected Works
Yi Sang (이상 or 김해경) tr Choi Don Mee, Jack Jung, Joyelle McSweeney, Sawako Nakayasu
Wave Books

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 […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2020

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

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 […] (Amazon link)

Sep 2020

Unexpected Vanilla
Lee Hyemi tr So J Lee
Tilted Axis

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 […] (Amazon link)

Aug 2020

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

Na Man’gap’s vivid and detailed description of the Manchu invasion of Korea constitutes an essential work for anyone interested in Manchu-Korean relations. George Kallander’s expert translation and exhaustive introduction make The Diary of 1636 one of the most important primary sources available in English on early seventeenth-century Korean and East Asian history.–Nicola Di Cosmo, translator […] (Amazon link)

Aug 2020

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

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/ (Amazon link)

Aug 2020

Almond
Sohn Won-pyung tr Lee Joosun
HarperVia

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 […] (Amazon link)

Jul 2020

The Disaster Tourist
Yun Ko-eun tr Lizzie Buehler
Serpent's Tail

Yona has been stuck behind a desk for years working as a programming coordinator for Jungle, a travel company specialising in package holidays to destinations ravaged by disaster. When a senior colleague touches her inappropriately she tries to complain, and in an attempt to bury her allegations, the company make her an attractive proposition: a […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

Jul 2020

Seeds of Control: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea
David Fedman
University of Washington Press

Japanese colonial rule in Korea (1905-1945) ushered in natural resource management programs that profoundly altered access to and ownership of the peninsula’s extensive mountains and forests. Under the banner of “forest love,” the colonial government set out to restructure the rhythms and routines of agrarian life, targeting everything from home heating to food preparation. Timber […] (Amazon link)

Jun 2020

Laughing North Koreans: The Culture of Comedy Films
Immanuel Kim
Lexington Books

This study analyzes North Korean comedy films from the late 1960s to present day. It examines the most iconic comedy films and comedians to show how North Koreans have enjoyed themselves and have established a culture of humor that challenges, subverts, and, at times, reinforces the dominant political ideology. The author argues that comedy films, […] (Amazon link)

Jun 2020

Bluebeard’s First Wife
Ha Seongnan (하성란) tr Janet Hong
Open Letter

Disasters, accidents, and deaths abound in Bluebeard’s First Wife. A woman spends a night with her fiancé and his friends, and overhears a terrible secret that has bound them together since high school. A man grows increasingly agitated by the apartment noise made by a young family living upstairs and arouses the suspicion of his […] (Amazon link)

Jun 2020

Seven Years of Darkness
Jeong You-jeong (정유정) tr Kim Chi-young
Little Brown

A young girl is found dead in Seryong Lake, a reservoir in a remote South Korean village. The police immediately begin their investigation. At the same time, three men – Yongje, the girl’s father, and two security guards at the nearby dam, each of whom has something to hide about the night of her death […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

May 2020

Friend
Paek Nam-nyong tr Immanuel Kim
Columbia University Press

Paek Nam-nyong’s Friend is a tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration of love and marriage. The novel delves into […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

May 2020

The Law of Lines
Pyun Hye-young (편혜영) tr Sora Kim-Russell
Arcade Publishing

The Law of Lines follows the parallel stories of two young women whose lives are upended by sudden loss. When Se-oh, a recluse still living with her father, returns from an errand to find their house in flames, wrecked by a gas explosion, she is forced back into the world she had tried to escape. […] (Amazon link)

May 2020

After the Korean War: An Intimate History
Hoenik Kwon
Cambridge University Press

Following his prizewinning studies of the Vietnam War, renowned anthropologist Heonik Kwon presents this ground-breaking study of the Korean War’s enduring legacies seen through the realm of intimate human experience. Kwon boldly reclaims kinship as a vital category in historical and political enquiry and probes the grey zone between the modern and the traditional (and […] (Amazon link)

Apr 2020

Umma’s Table
Hong Yeon-sik tr Janet Hong
Drawn + Quarterly

Following his acclaimed English language debut Uncomfortably Happily, Yeon-sik Hong returns with a graphic novel that is as insightful as wrenching as it probes life with aging parents and how we support the people we love. A new father named Madang, moves to a quiet cottage in the countryside with his wife and young baby. […] (Amazon link)

Apr 2020

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982
Cho Nam-joo tr Jamie Chang
Scribner

Kim Jiyoung is a girl born to a mother whose in-laws wanted a boy. Kim Jiyoung is a sister made to share a room while her brother gets one of his own. Kim Jiyoung is a female preyed upon by male teachers at school. Kim Jiyoung is a daughter whose father blames her when she […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

Feb 2020

b, Book, and Me
Kim Sagwa (김사과) tr Jeong Sunhee
Two Lines Press

Best friends b and Rang are all each other have. Their parents are absent, their teachers avert their eyes when they walk by. Everyone else in town acts like they live in Seoul even though it’s painfully obvious they don’t. When Rang begins to be bullied horribly by the boys in baseball hats, b fends […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

Feb 2020

The Only Child
Seo Miae tr Jung Yewon
Point Blank

A serial killer whose gruesome murders shook the world but who has steadfastly remained silent. Until now. A young, innocent looking stepdaughter from her husband’s previous marriage, who unexpectedly turns up at the door after the sudden death of her grandparents. Both are unsettling. Both are deeply troubled. And both seem to want something from […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

Feb 2020

Untold Night and Day
Bae Suah (배수아) tr Deborah Smith
Jonathan Cape

A hypnotic, disorienting story of parallel lives unfolding over a day and a night in the sweltering heat of Seoul’s summer For two years, twenty-eight-year-old Kim Ayami has worked at Seoul’s only audio theatre for the blind. But now the theatre is shutting down and Ayami’s future is uncertain. Her last shift completed and the […] (Amazon link) LKL Review

Jan 2020