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Selected publications

June Literature Night: A conversation with Kim Aeran

June’s literature night is a special event: a discussion with Kim Aeran about the texts set for the recent essay contest, and the announcement of the winner. A discussion with author Kim Aeran Wednesday 27 June, 18:00-20:45 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 […]

A look back at some of the books of 2017

This year, I haven’t even come close to keeping up with the volume of newly-published literature in translation, let alone the plethora of new non-fiction. Perhaps to balance my feelings of guilt at falling behind the pace of new publications, I’ve tried to make inroads into my guilt pile in respect of previous years – […]

Book review: Waxen Wings

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 […]

Book review: Bandi — The Accusation

Bandi: The Accusation – Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea Translated by Deborah Smith Serpents Tail 2017, 245 pp Originally published as 고발, Chogabje.com, 2014. Mike Breen, in his book The New Koreans, describes han as “a kind of rage and helplessness that is sublimated and lingers like an inactive resentment” and is often evidenced in […]

Book review: Park Wan-suh — Lonesome You

Park Wan-suh: Lonesome You Translated by Elizabeth Haejin Yoon Dalkey Archive, 2015, 252pp Originally published as 너무도 쓸쓸한 당신, Seoul, 1998. I came to Lonesome You with fairly neutral expectations. I had read Who Ate All the Shinga, the story of Park’s childhood in the late 1940s and through the war years. It was an interesting […]

Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

Hwang Sun-won: Lost Souls Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Columbia University Press 2010, 354pp Having quite enjoyed two of Hwang Sun-won’s fuller-length stories – Trees on a Slope and Descendants of Cain – though without necessarily being enamoured of the characters of the stories they inhabited, I was looking forward to tackling Lost Souls, […]

Krys Lee featured in the Guardian

There’s a really good interview with Krys Lee (Drifting House, How I Became a North Korean) in The Guardian: “The acclaimed short story writer talks about her debut novel, trying to understand her violent father and moving back from the US to South Korea”. The novel is available on Amazon from 18 August. Krys Lee […]

A look back at the books of 2015

In place of our annual “LKL Awards” post, we look at some of the highlights of 2015 in the area of books, film and music. Apart from the field of literature in translation (and of course I’m talking Han Kang here), there are no clear winners or I haven’t covered enough ground to choose one. […]

Looking back at 2015: Culture, sport and tourism

In the first of four articles looking back over 2015, we recall some of the culture, sports and heritage stories that made the news. Heritage The historic Baekje sites were listed by UNESCO as world heritage. UNESCO also listed in their Memory of the World register some Confucian woodblock texts and records of the family […]

Free short story by Heinz Insu Fenkl

Five Arrows, a short story by writer and translator Heinz Insu Fenkl is available in the August issue of New Yorker magazine. If you’re lazy there’s an audio version on Soundcloud available here. And at the bottom of the New Yorker webpage you’ll find a link to his translation of the Yi Mun-yol story which […]

Shin Kyung-sook seeks to withdraw short story

Wow – this all happened very quickly. On 17 June author Lee Eung-jun wrote an article in Huffington Post Korea (in Korean) accusing Shin Kyung-sook of plagiarism: Shin is “an author whose works are often accused of plagiarism” and that he decided to risk his career by publishing the article as he wanted the allegations […]

A review of the London Korean Year 2014

2014 was billed as the year of Korean literature, and it lived up to expectations. A number of programmes were geared towards spotlighting Korean literature, central to which was the London Book Fair, where Korea was the Market Focus for the year in an ongoing initiative coordinated by the British Council. The Book Fair itself […]

Festival Film Review: This Road Called Life

Following on from the success of their feature-length animation Green Days, Studio MWP worked with Korean TV broadcaster EBS to produce a trio of short films which adapt three familiar short stories which are studied by most Koreans in high school: Yi Hyo-seok’s Buckwheat Season, Kim Yu-jeong’s Spring, Spring, and A Lucky Day by Hyun […]