Book notes: Hwang Jung-eun — I’ll Go On

Hwang Jungeun: I’ll Go On Translated by Emily Yae Won Tilted Axis Press, 2018 Serialised as 소라나나나기, 2012-2013, and published as 계속해보겠습니다, 2014, by Changbi After not really warming to Hwang Jungeun’s One Hundred Shadows, I nevertheless invested in the second translation of her work by Tilted Axis Press firstly because the press deserves our […]

March literature night: At Dusk, by Hwang Sok-yong

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. The second literature night of 2019 looks at Sora Kim-Russell’s translation of Hwang Sok-yong’s latest: Hwang Sok-yong: At Dusk 27 March, 19.00-21.00 @KCCUK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 […]

Bae Chan-hyo’s new book of photography

I always find it strangely rewarding when things going on in London get featured in the Korean press. London-based photographer Bae Chan-hyo’s upcoming exhibition at Purdy Hicks, Jumping Into, gets a feature in yesterday’s Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper. Bae has been active on the London art scene at least since 2006, when he took part […]

Movie review: E J-Yong – My Brilliant Life

A feelgood Korean drama which the main character has a fatal and incurable disease, and who is writing an account for the benefit of loved ones when he is gone? Been there, done that. Well, not exactly: when the director is E J-Yong and the movie is an adaptation of a Kim Aeran novel, you […]

February literature night: I’ll Go On by Hwang Jungeun

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. The first literature night of 2019 will look at Tilted Axis’s latest Hwang Jungeun novel: Hwang Jung-Eun: I’ll Go On Wednesday 27 February 2019, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking […]

Book Review: Pyun Hye-young — The Hole

Pyun Hye-young: The Hole Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Arcade Publishing, 2017, 208pp Originally published as 홀 by 문학과지성사, 2016 Sterne(8,g) In the collection of short stories entitled Evening Proposal, Pyun Hye-young introduces us to a series of different very ordinary people trapped in humdrum lives, examining what happens when they are placed in unusual situations. […]

Book review: Min Kym — Gone

Min Jin Kym: Gone — A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung Viking, 2017, 256pp When Min Jin Kym’s Gone came out, I mentally heaved a sigh of relief. Here’s one Korea-related book, I thought, among the dozens that will be published this year, that I don’t need to read. The story of how her […]

The Poetry Review Winter edition launch

The Poetry Review: Winter edition launch event Wednesday 23 January 2019, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm The Poetry Cafe | 22 Betterton Street | London WC2H 9BX | poetrysociety.org.uk Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance at marketing@poetrysociety.org.uk The Poetry Society celebrates the launch of the Winter issue of The Poetry Review, showing […]

New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2019

Unlike my list that attempts to compile upcoming literature and fiction titles, here I’ve had to be selective in what to include, otherwise the length of this post would be unmanageable. Nevertheless I’ve almost certainly missed out some titles that I’d want to have on my bookshelf. I’ve divided the list into seven sections: Literature […]

Upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2019

Here’s my first attempt at compiling a list of fiction and poetry titles coming up in 2019. Let me know what I’ve missed. Unlike my separate list of non-fiction I have not exercised any editorial control here: this is everything I have been able to find. The list is in four parts: Modern and contemporary […]

A look back at the 2018 literary year

A look back at the books and literary events of the year – and a summary of my reading diary. Literature in translation In translated fiction, my reading this year has not managed anywhere near to keep pace with the amount of translations being published. I know I said the same in respect of 2017 […]

Wasafiri, the international literary magazine, launches Korea-focused number

The Winter 2018 issue of Wasafiri, the British literary magazine covering international contemporary writing, has a Korea focus. On sale now online or in good book stores. There will be a celebratory launch event on 21 February 2019 – details to be confirmed. Wasafiri Issue 96, Winter 2018 Special Issue – Korea: Divisions and Borders […]

Book review: Blaine Harden – King of Spies

Blaine Harden: King of Spies – The dark reign of America’s spymaster in Korea Mantle, 2018, 272 pp The character of the maverick cop, or even maverick spy, delivering outstanding results through unorthodox means and despite a disregard for hierarchy, is a familiar one in crime and spy fiction. Blaine Harden, who worked with Shin […]

Talking to North Korea: Ending the Nuclear Standoff

News of a book launch and talk at Bookmarks: Talking to North Korea: Ending the Nuclear Standoff Thursday 08 November 6.30 With Glyn Ford Bookmarks | 1 Bloomsbury Street | London WC1B 3QE | bookmarksbookshop.co.uk Admission £2.00 Payable on door Reserve your place here or call 020 7637 1848 North Korea’s regime is often called […]

November literature night: Mary Lynn Bracht’s White Chrysanthemum

A break from tradition this month. November’s book for discussion is a novel written in English, rather than one translated from the Korean. We’ll be there because we rather liked the book. White Chrysanthemum: A discussion with author Mary Lynn Bracht Wednesday 28 November, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. […]

Exhibition visit: Nick Bonner’s Made in North Korea

When one thinks of North Korean graphic art, images of strident anti-American propaganda posters spring to mind. Fortunately, and in the current climate of reduced tension on the peninsula, the posters that greeted you in the first room of Nick Bonner’s exhibition at the House of Illustration focused less on stirring up national hatred against […]