Don Mee Choi and Kim Hyesoon win 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize

Congratulations to Don Mee Choi and Kim Hyesoon for winning the 2019 International Griffin Poetry Prize with Autobiography of Death. In an interesting way of recognising the relationship between the creators of the original text and the translated work, the collection is credited as being “by Don Mee Choi, translated from the Korean written by […]

June Literature Night: Sweet Potato by Kim Tongin

The KCC’s Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book: Kim Tongin: Sweet Potato Wednesday 26 June 2019, 7pm @KCCUK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Sunday 9th June. […]

Book review: Kim Young-ha – Diary of a Murderer

Kim Young-ha: Diary of a Murderer and other stories Translated by Krys Lee Mariner Books, 2019, 200pp Originally published as 살인자의 기억법, Munhakdongne, 2013 Somewhat rashly, I approach Kim Young-ha’s novels with a keen sense of anticipation, particularly when translated by Krys Lee. Rashly, because with high expectations you usually set yourself up for a […]

Book launch: Korea’s Premier Collection of Classical Literature

A book launch to mark the publication of the first English-language study of Korea’s most important literary collection: Korea’s Premier Collection of Classical Literature: Selections from Sŏ Kŏjŏng’s Tongmunsŏn translated, annotated, and with an introduction by Dr. Xin Wei and Dr. James B. Lewis Where: Haldane Room, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford (tel: +44 (0) 1865 274 […]

May Literature Night: Endless Blue Sky, by Yi Hyoseok

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. Yi Hyoseok: Endless Blue Sky Wednesday 29 May 2019, 7pm Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Sunday 5th May. Or […]

Book review: Hwang Sok-yong – At Dusk

Hwang Sok-yong: At Dusk Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Scribe, 2018, 188pp Originally published as 해질 무렵, Munhakdongne, 2015 What a relief it is when a novel is both thought-provoking and a pleasure to read. Hwang Sok-yong’s At Dusk made me look forward to my daily commute (pretty much the only time I get to read). […]

April literature night: The Court Dancer, by Shin Kyung-sook

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. Shin Kyung-sook: The Court Dancer Wedneday 24 April 2019, 19.00-21.00 @KCCUK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Sunday 7th April. […]

Book notes: Hwang Jung-eun — I’ll Go On

Hwang Jungeun: I’ll Go On Translated by Emily Yae Won Tilted Axis Press, 2018 Serialised as 소라나나나기, 2012-2013, and published as 계속해보겠습니다, 2014, by Changbi After not really warming to Hwang Jungeun’s One Hundred Shadows, I nevertheless invested in the second translation of her work by Tilted Axis Press firstly because the press deserves our […]

March literature night: At Dusk, by Hwang Sok-yong

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. The second literature night of 2019 looks at Sora Kim-Russell’s translation of Hwang Sok-yong’s latest: Hwang Sok-yong: At Dusk 27 March, 19.00-21.00 @KCCUK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 […]

Movie review: E J-Yong – My Brilliant Life

A feelgood Korean drama which the main character has a fatal and incurable disease, and who is writing an account for the benefit of loved ones when he is gone? Been there, done that. Well, not exactly: when the director is E J-Yong and the movie is an adaptation of a Kim Aeran novel, you […]

February literature night: I’ll Go On by Hwang Jungeun

The Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. The first literature night of 2019 will look at Tilted Axis’s latest Hwang Jungeun novel: Hwang Jung-Eun: I’ll Go On Wednesday 27 February 2019, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking […]

Book Review: Pyun Hye-young — The Hole

Pyun Hye-young: The Hole Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Arcade Publishing, 2017, 208pp Originally published as 홀 by 문학과지성사, 2016 In the collection of short stories entitled Evening Proposal, Pyun Hye-young introduces us to a series of different very ordinary people trapped in humdrum lives, examining what happens when they are placed in unusual situations. Pyun […]

The Poetry Review Winter edition launch

The Poetry Review: Winter edition launch event Wednesday 23 January 2019, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm The Poetry Cafe | 22 Betterton Street | London WC2H 9BX | poetrysociety.org.uk Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance at marketing@poetrysociety.org.uk The Poetry Society celebrates the launch of the Winter issue of The Poetry Review, showing […]

Upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2019

Here’s my first attempt at compiling a list of fiction and poetry titles coming up in 2019. Let me know what I’ve missed. Unlike my separate list of non-fiction I have not exercised any editorial control here: this is everything I have been able to find. The list is in four parts: Modern and contemporary […]

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 […]