General book news

A couple of new books to take with you on your summer break – or, more likely in respect of the first on the list, to adorn your coffee table when you return. First, fulsomely reviewed by Andrew Salmon in Asia Times, comes Inside North Korea by The Guardian‘s architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright […]

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Litro Summer Literary & Arts Festival ’18

by Events Editor 12 May 2018
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The Litro Summer Literary Festival has a few things of Korean interest, not least of which is the very welcome presence of Krys Lee, who apart from hosting a masterclass on Korean poetry and participating in a panel session on female writers will also be introducing Im Sang-soo’s adaptation of Hwang Sok-yong’s The Old Garden […]

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Haemin Sunim shortlisted for British Book Award

by Philip Gowman 30 March 2018
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The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim (tr. Chi-Young Kim) has been shortlisted for The British Book Awards in Non-Fiction: Lifestyle category. The full shortlist in the category is as follows: 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver (Michael Jospeh) The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down: How […]

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Lee Yil: seminar and book launch of selected writings on Contemporary Korean Art

by Events Editor 12 March 2018
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Artist Bada Song and critic / lecturer Paul O’Kane spent a large part of last year helping to translate and edit an important new collection of mid-to-late 20th century writings of renowned Korean art critic Lee Yil (1932-1997), “the main observer of “Dansaekhwa”, or Korean monochrome”. That work has now come to fruition, with the […]

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Guardian suggests Korean thrillers are the new Scandi Noir

by Philip Gowman 5 March 2018
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It was not long ago that people were lamenting the absence of Korean genre fiction – such as crime and mystery stories – in translation. Well, apparently, things are changing. An article in Saturday’s Guardian talks about a “wave of interest in Korean thrillers” – highlighting the six-figure sum which bought Doubleday the right to […]

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New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2018

by Philip Gowman 27 January 2018
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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 […]

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New and upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2018

by Philip Gowman 22 January 2018
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From classic Joseon dynasty ghost stories, via historical fiction set in the reign of Queen Min, to the latest in translated literature, we take a look at some of the books to look forward to in 2018. Our look at non-fiction titles can be found here. Contemporary Korean literature in translation Hwang Sok-yong’s novel At […]

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Pachinko featured in New York Times

by Philip Gowman 12 November 2017
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There’s a nice feature on Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko in last weekend’s New York Times. I enjoyed the book myself though never got around to writing a review. It’s a very different work from her first novel, Free Food for Millionaires, which I described as a combination of Sex and the City and Wall Street, and […]

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Han Kang launches her White Book in London & Manchester

by Events Editor 1 November 2017
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Waterstones will be hosting events to celebrate the launch of Han Kang’s White Book this month. I fear the London event seems to be booked out already, but you can always go up to Manchester: Han Kang in conversation With Max Porter, London Tottenham Court Road, 13 Nov 6:30pm Details With Deborah Smith, Manchester Deansgate, […]

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A Korea focus in this week’s TLS

by Philip Gowman 27 May 2017
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This week’s Times Literary Supplement (26 May 2017) contains no fewer than four Korea-related article-reviews: Min Jin Lee on Bandi’s The Accusation (Serpent’s Tail) (LKL review here), JM Lee’s The Boy who Escaped Paradise (Norton), Yi Mun-yol’s Meeting with my Brother (Columbia) and Jieun Baek’s North Korea’s Hidden Revolution (Yale) Houman Barekat on Han Yujoo’s […]

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Event news: Undercover in Pyongyang – a discussion at Asia House

by Events Editor 28 April 2017
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This year’s Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival brings us two talks with a Korean interest. The second of these is a discussion of North Korean issues between Suki Kim, author of Without You, There Is No Us (LKL review here) and Paul French, author of North Korea: State of Paranoia. Sin Cities: Undercover in […]

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Event news: Reflections on the East Asian 20th Century, at Asia House

by Events Editor 27 April 2017
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This year’s Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival brings us two talks with a Korean interest. The first of these is a conversation between Min Jin Lee (LKL review of her debut novel Free Food for Millionaires here) and former Man Booker Prize for Fiction judge Erica Wagner. Reflections on the East Asian 20th Century Min Jin […]

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Modern Poetry in Translation – the Korean issue

by Philip Gowman 26 March 2017
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The latest volume of Modern Poetry in Translation magazine has a focus on Korean poetry. The subtitle of the issue is The Blue Vein – a reference to a line from Kim Hyesoon’s work included in the volume. “Every morning the sky, the blue vein slaps you hard.” The extract is from Kim Hyesoon’s latest […]

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Event news: Deborah Smith on translating Bae Suah

by Events Editor 22 February 2017
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Deborah Smith’s latest Bae Suah translation, Recitation, is now available in bookshops. This month you have the opportunity to hear some of the challenges of translating it, courtesy of SOAS’s Centre for Translation Studies: Close to a State of Linguistic Weightlessness: On Translating Bae Suah Dr Deborah Smith (Korean-English translator, Publisher/Editor at Tilted Axis Press) […]

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New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2017

by Philip Gowman 30 January 2017
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As a follow up to my post on literature and fiction titles coming up in 2017 (now updated twice), here are some of the upcoming non-fiction publications that I’ll be looking out for. There are of course many others: simply do an advanced search on Amazon with keyword “Korea” and publication year 2017 and you may […]

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New and upcoming literature and fiction titles [updated]

by Philip Gowman 16 January 2017
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As I’ve been looking back at the books of 2016 I realise that there are a few recent publications I missed. Here are some of them, along with some that are advertised to be out this year. I do wish there was a decent source to tell you what’s new or coming up soon. Publishers’ […]

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Inspector O in NYT feature

by Philip Gowman 29 August 2016
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There’s a nice feature on James Church and his Inspector O series in the NYT. Well worth a read, as are the books themselves. Here’s a good quote from the article: “If you want to understand North Korea then you need to read Inspector O,” said Michael Madden, who has spent years studying the North […]

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