London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Unexpected Vanilla – poetry talks and events

About Unexpected Vanilla A sensual, surrealist collection by a young feminist poet, in an equally sensuous and sensitive queer translation. Lee explores a wide variety of relationships, attractions, and sensations. Her erotically charged, surrealist sensibility can be traced back to the paintings of Leonor Fini, a bisexual Argentinian artist whom she admires. Lee subverts the … [Read More]

Review: JM Lee — Broken Summer

A seemingly ideal partnership between a successful artist and a doting wife who is also his manager suddenly dissolves when the wife walks out without warning, leaving behind a surprise which the artist knows will shortly destroy his reputation and career. The artist had clearly been living a lie, with his wife plotting his destruction … [Read More]

A discussion with poet Hakjung Kim

In August we will have a special event as a part of our Korean Literature Night (KLN) with poet Hakjung Kim and this event will be presented at the KCCUK. Poet Hakjung Kim will share his thoughts about why writing as a minority voice in contemporary Korea matters. With the moderator Eugene Kim, Hakjung Kim … [Read More]

May Literature Night: Winter in Sokcho

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. For May we will read the novel Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin. Author Elisa Shua Dusapin and translator Aneesa Abbas Higgins will join us for a live virtual talk about the novel ‘Winter … [Read More]

April Korean Literature Night: Shoko’s Smile

Shoko’s Smile A bestselling and award-winning debut collection from one of Korea’s most prominent young writers. In crisp, unembellished prose, Choi Eunyoung paints intimate portraits of the lives of young women in Korea, balancing the personal with the political. In the title story, a fraught friendship between an exchange student and her host sister follows … [Read More]

Book review: Kim Won-il – The Scorpion

Kim Won-il looks at 80 years of Korean modern history, presenting us with the less glamorous side of the story in a novel that spans three generations of a Milyang-based family who are swept along in the political and economic tides of the colonial period and Korea’s subsequent reconstruction. [Read More]

March Korean Literature Night: The Road to Sampo

This March we will read the novel ‘The Road to Sampo’ by Hwang Sok-yong. This month will also feature a special discussion Zoom event, with all participants able to turn on the camera, speak, and discuss the work during the talk. Prof. Jieun Kiaer (Associate Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics, University of Oxford) will … [Read More]

Upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2022

Last year was an amazing one for Korean literature in translation, with plenty of lively titles published. 2022 looks for the moment like it’s going to be a little quieter, but new publications sometimes pop out of nowhere, so this list of anticipated books for this year is almost bound to be proved incomplete. There … [Read More]

Children’s books – the latest translation trend?

In this month’s edition of World Literature Today, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp draws attention to a number of recent publications of translated children’s books coming from Korea. She speculates: The interest in the Korean children’s market may have been spurred by innovative illustrator, animator, and artist Baek Heena being named the 2020 laureate of the Astrid … [Read More]

The Cabinet: Un-Su Kim in conversation with Phillip Kim

The KCC’s monthly literature discussions restart in February with Un-su Kim’s debut novel The Cabinet. It has quite a different flavour from his Plotters, which was the first to make it into English, but shares its inventiveness and pace. The Cabinet Discussion: Wednesday 23 February 2022, 12 noon Apply by 4 February Full details – … [Read More]

A look back at our 2021 reading diary

Looking back at this year, it’s been one of the best for new translations of Korean literature that I can remember. There have been at least ten new fiction titles, and unusually for me I managed to get through all the titles I was intending to. All of them are recommendable in their different ways. … [Read More]