London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Book talk: Yu Miri’s The End of August

Join bestselling writer Yu Miri and her translator Morgan Giles as they present Yu’s latest novel to be translated into English, The End of August. In 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea, Lee Woo-Cheol is a running prodigy and a contender for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics – but only if he runs under the Japanese flag. Nearly a … [Read More]

Book review: JM Lee – Painter of the Wind

In The Investigation (2012, English version 2014), JM Lee gave readers an historical novel combined with a course in poetry appreciation. Somehow, it didn’t work for us. In Painter of the Wind, Lee gives his readers an historical novel combined with a course in art appreciation and it works a lot better. The novel was … [Read More]

Book review: Cheon Myeong-kwan — Whale

The Man Booker International Prize started in its current annual form in 2016 and was famously won that year by Han Kang and Deborah Smith with The Vegetarian. Since then, hopes of a Korean repeat success have been kept alive with titles in the longlist (At Dusk (2019), Love in the Big City (2022)) and … [Read More]

May Literature Night special: book talk with Cheon Myeong-kwan

Cheon Myeong-kwan, author of Whale, is a Korean novelist, screenwriter and director whose work has been translated into eight languages. Set in a remote Korean village, Whale follows three mythical characters with interlinked lives: Geumbok, who has been chasing an indescribable thrill ever since she first saw a whale crest in the ocean; her mute daughter, Chunhui, who … [Read More]

Overcoming Barriers: Korea in Translation

Brother Anthony (who has been publishing translations of Korean poetry and fiction since 1990) will begin by talking about some of the books by which Korea and its region first became known in centuries past, books that were translated from and into a variety of languages. He will then review the ways in which Korean … [Read More]

Han Kang: Greek Lessons launch event

Han Kang, author of The Vegetarian, launches a powerful new novel about the saving grace of language and human connection, in conversation with Octavia Bright. Greek Lessons tells the story of two ordinary people brought together at a moment of private anguish – the fading light of a man losing his vision meeting the silence of a … [Read More]

February Literature Night: The Age of Doubt by Pak Kyongni

The Age of Doubt collects some of Pak Kyongni’s most famous works, including her 1955 debut and other stories featuring characters that would appear in her 21-volume epic, T’oji. Many of Pak’s stories reflect her own turbulent experiences during the period following the Korean war and the various Korean dictatorships throughout the twentieth century. Pak … [Read More]

Review: Cho Nam-joo – Saha

After the domestic success of Kim Ji-young (2016; English translation by Jamie Chang published in 2020), and of its encouraging sales overseas, it was natural that Cho Nam-joo’s next novel would attract interest. Accordingly, Saha had a slightly shorter journey from Korean into English: after an original publication date in 2019 its English translation came … [Read More]

Book review: Seo Su-jin – Korean Teachers

After what was a fairly downbeat reading experience for us last year, quite by chance we came across the first publication of translated Korean literature from Singapore’s Harriet Press, released without our noticing it in March 2022. Seo Sujin’s debut novel Korean Teachers won the Hankyoreh Literature Award in 2020, and it is encouraging that … [Read More]