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Selected publications

Review: Na Man’gap – the Diary of 1636

Na Man’gap’s Diary of 1636, as George Kallander explains in his informative introduction, is the longest known private account of the second Manchu invasion of Korea. Na (1592 – 1642) was a senior scholar-official who was with the King and court inside Namhansanseong – he was in charge of military rations – throughout the siege […]

Book review: Lee Yil – Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction

Lee Yil: Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction Selected Writings on Korean Contemporary Art, 1970 – 1996 Initial draft translations: Chung Yeon-shim, Park Eun-ah, Park Sung-ji Final translations: Paul O’Kane, Song Bada Published by AICA (International Association of Art Critics) / Les Presses du Réel, Dijon, France, 2018, 212pp How often do you read the learned […]

“Jazz” in the DPRK: Autumn Whispers and the forbidden fruit of Richard Clayderman

I’ve just finished reading Jang Jin-sung’s memoir, Dear Leader. It’s a real page-turner that will appeal to many types of readers, including people who like a good adventure story (the passages describing Jang’s evasion of Chinese and North Korean security forces once he has fled from the North Korean capital are genuinely exciting) and of […]

Book review: Land of Scholars (Kang Jae-eun)

The Land of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Korean Confucianism by Kang Jae-eun (translated from Japanese to Korean by Ha Woo-bong, then from Korean into English by Suzanne Lee) Homa & Sekey Books 2006; original Japanese version published in 2003. 515 pp Students of Korean history, and particularly of the Joseon dynasty, will inevitably at […]

Mountain walking, Tea Classics and a thriller: three new books

ROK Drop Book Review: Yin Yang Tattoo By Ron McMillan. Looks like a good novel for summer holiday reading. http://bit.ly/9hxn6M # Walk the Baekdu-Daegan: Korea’s mountain backbone: new book on the hiking trail. http://bit.ly/b9cmsu # An article about Brother Anthony (brilliant translator, says KTLit.com) and his new book about tea (not my cuppa!): http://www.ktlit.com/?p=1377