Books

James B. Lewis: Frontier Contact Between Chosŏn Korea and Tokugawa Japan Routledge, 2003, 340pp What a relief to return to some non-fiction. And although at LKL we are wholly unqualified to review academic works, we don’t mind saying why we it is that we like a particular book. Frontier Contact paints a fascinating picture of […]

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On reading Han Kang’s White Book by the pool

by Philip Gowman 17 November 2017
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In general, I tend not to read much literary fiction. If I’m reading stuff which is unrelated to Korea, it’s likely to be either non-fiction or easy reading – a detective story or something reasonably lightweight. When it comes to korea-related reading, until relatively recently the balance has again been in favour of non-fiction. But […]

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Book review: Han Yujoo – The Impossible Fairy Tale

by Philip Gowman 13 November 2017
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Han Yujoo: The Impossible Fairy Tale translated by Janet Hong Graywolf Press, MN, USA 192pp / Tilted Axis Press, UK 352pp / 2017 Originally published as 불가능한 동화 (pub 문학과지성사, 2013) Sometimes, I like having my brain stretched when reading a book: something to get stuck into, to make me think. But there are limits. I […]

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Pachinko featured in New York Times

by Philip Gowman 12 November 2017
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There’s a nice feature on Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko in last weekend’s New York Times. I enjoyed the book myself though never got around to writing a review. It’s a very different work from her first novel, Free Food for Millionaires, which I described as a combination of Sex and the City and Wall Street, and […]

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Han Kang launches her White Book in London & Manchester

by Events Editor 1 November 2017
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Waterstones will be hosting events to celebrate the launch of Han Kang’s White Book this month. I fear the London event seems to be booked out already, but you can always go up to Manchester: Han Kang in conversation With Max Porter, London Tottenham Court Road, 13 Nov 6:30pm Details With Deborah Smith, Manchester Deansgate, […]

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Event news: Kim Kyung-ju poetry tour

by Events Editor 2 August 2017
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Kim Kyung Ju will be visiting the UK this month with his translator, Jake Levine, to take part in the events below. Kim’s first work to be published in English is I am a Season That Does Not Exist in This World, published by Black Ocean last year. His two plays and another poetry collection […]

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Event news: Hwang Sok-yong introduces Familiar Things at Asia House

by Events Editor 19 July 2017
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Hwang Sok-yong will be heading down to London from the Edinburgh International Book Festival to talk about his latest novel to be translated into English: Hwang Sok-yong: A Modern Tale of Poverty Asia House | 63 New Cavendish Street | London W1G 7LP August 17, 2017, 18:45 – 20:00 £10, Conc £8, Members £5 | […]

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Event news: Han Yujoo launches The Impossible Fairytale

by Events Editor 21 June 2017
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Tilted Axis Press, LTI Korea and The Asia Literary Agency present Han Yujoo talking about her newly translated novel: Metafictional Murder in South Korea Free Word Centre | 60 Farringdon Road | London EC1R 3GA | www.freewordcentre.com Monday 10 Jul 2017, 6:45pm – 8:00pm | Book tickets Join one of South Korea’s hottest young authors to launch her […]

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An evening with Michael Breen and The New Koreans

by Philip Gowman 13 June 2017
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When going to a book talk, it is all too common to find that the moderator has little knowledge of the book or its subject matter, and asks the author embarrassingly shallow questions leaving the audience and author short-changed. No such risks last night at the KCC, where the British Korean Society’s Chris Hollands conversed […]

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Event news: Translation Pitch — East and Southeast Asia

by Events Editor 4 June 2017
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English PEN, the Free Word Centre and the Asia Literary Review bring together six translators to pitch their translation projects. For Korea, Jason Woodruff pitches Kim Soon’s The Shoe – an exploration of recent history via art restoration – and Sophie Bowman presents Kim Boyoung’s I’m Waiting for You – a series of love letters […]

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BKS hosts an interview with Michael Breen

by Events Editor 28 May 2017
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We enjoyed Mike Breen’s first book – The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies – and are currently enjoying this completely new and updated version. It’s full of fascinating detail as well as giving you the big picture. We were hoping to have written a review by now, but events […]

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Event news: panel talk on poetry translation

by Events Editor 28 May 2017
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In conjunction with the collaborative event between South Korean and British poets on 3 June, the KCCUK is hosting a discussion on the topic of literary translation. Panel Talk: A talk on literary translation and poetry in particular Date/Time: Friday 2nd June 2017 6:30pm Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Free Admission. RSVP required to KCCUK […]

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A Korea focus in this week’s TLS

by Philip Gowman 27 May 2017
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This week’s Times Literary Supplement (26 May 2017) contains no fewer than four Korea-related article-reviews: Min Jin Lee on Bandi’s The Accusation (Serpent’s Tail) (LKL review here), JM Lee’s The Boy who Escaped Paradise (Norton), Yi Mun-yol’s Meeting with my Brother (Columbia) and Jieun Baek’s North Korea’s Hidden Revolution (Yale) Houman Barekat on Han Yujoo’s […]

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Event news: Beyond Words – South Korean + British poets in collaboration

by Events Editor 18 May 2017
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To my knowledge this is the first London-based event in the UK/Korea Creative Futures programme 2017-18. Beyond Words: South Korean & British poets in collaboration Saturday 3rd June 2017, 7.30pm – Free Entrance Rich Mix Venue Two | 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd | London E1 6LA | www.richmix.org.uk A dynamic new collaborative project featuring new works of […]

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Book review: Waxen Wings

by Philip Gowman 4 May 2017
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Waxen Wings: The ACTA Koreana Anthology of Short Fiction from Korea Edited by Bruce Fulton Koryo Press, 2011, 238pp There are plenty of anthologies of Korean translated fiction available, and many of them are edited and / or translated by Bruce Fulton, usually with Ju-Chan Fulton involved in the project too. I recently enjoyed the […]

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Event news: Undercover in Pyongyang – a discussion at Asia House

by Events Editor 28 April 2017
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This year’s Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival brings us two talks with a Korean interest. The second of these is a discussion of North Korean issues between Suki Kim, author of Without You, There Is No Us (LKL review here) and Paul French, author of North Korea: State of Paranoia. Sin Cities: Undercover in […]

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Event news: Reflections on the East Asian 20th Century, at Asia House

by Events Editor 27 April 2017
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This year’s Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival brings us two talks with a Korean interest. The first of these is a conversation between Min Jin Lee (LKL review of her debut novel Free Food for Millionaires here) and former Man Booker Prize for Fiction judge Erica Wagner. Reflections on the East Asian 20th Century Min Jin […]

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