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 […]

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 […]

New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2018

Too many books, not enough time to read them, or space to store them. Encouragingly, in a skim of the upcoming publication lists I had no problems finding plenty of books on a wide range of interesting topics. No longer it seems is the reading public (or the publishers’ perception thereof) solely interested in that […]

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. […]

Yeonmi Park is Radio 4 book of the week

Yeonmi Park’s refugee memoir In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom is Radio 4’s book of the week this week, airing at 9:45am. If you missed this morning’s episode there’s a repeat at 12:30 tonight, or of course you can listen to it for the next 30 days on the Radio […]

Pak Chiwon’s Jehol Diary: An amiable bore abroad

Pak Chiwon: The Jehol Diary Translated with notes by Yang Hi Choe-Wall Global Oriental 2010, 208pp The Jehol Diary is a contemporary account of one of the regular journeys from Joseon Korea to Qing China bearing tribute to the emperor. The journey described in this diary took place in 1780, and was ordered by King Jeongjo […]

Twinsters story comes to the Kindle

Those of you who have been following the story of identical twins Anais Bordier and Samantha Futerman will be pleased to know that their story will be available on Kindle at the end of this month or hardcover next month. The title is Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story of Twin Sisters Reunited. The […]

“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 […]

Twinsters featured in Metro

The heartwarming story of two identical twins from Busan being adopted and brought up in separate continents made it into London freesheet the Metro yesterday. Samantha and Anais, having successfully raised $30,000 for phase 1 of an autobiographical documentary project on Kickstarter, are now looking to raise $80,000 for post-production. They are over a quarter […]

Twinsters book deal announced

That sure is fast work: Twinsters Sam Futurman and Anais Bordier have signed a deal for the book of the film – and the film isn’t even made yet. According to AP, Penguin’s US affiliate G.P Putnam’s Sons will be publishing the memoir, which will be coming out in late 2014 – in time for […]