Korean literature in translation

The Winter 2018 issue of Wasafiri, the British literary magazine covering international contemporary writing, has a Korea focus. On sale now online or in good book stores. There will be a celebratory launch event on 17 January 2019 – details to be confirmed. Wasafiri Issue 96, Winter 2018 Special Issue – Korea: Divisions and Borders […]

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Jeong You-jeong in conversation at Foyles

by Events Editor 20 October 2018
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As part of Foyles’s Korean Culture Month, leading South-Korean author Jeong You-Jeong (Seven Years of Darkness) joins them for a discussion about her work and to read from her latest novel The Good Son. Yu-jin wakes up covered in blood. There’s no sign of a break in and there’s a body downstairs. It’s the body of someone […]

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October literature night: The Good Son by Jeong You-Jeong

by Events Editor 29 September 2018
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The Korean Literature Night (KLN) is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. The October meeting will feature The Good Son by Jeong You-Jeong (LKL review here). Jeong You-jeong Wednesday 31st October, 19.00-21.00 Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or […]

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September literature night: Pyun Hye-young’s The Hole

by Events Editor 22 August 2018
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The KCC’s Korean Literature Night is a monthly discussion group that explores various themes and topics relating to that month’s chosen book. September brings the opportunity to explore another work by Pyun Hye-young: Pyun Hye-young: The Hole Wednesday 26 September, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or […]

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August literature night: Eun Hee-kyung’s Beauty Looks Down On Me

by Events Editor 29 July 2018
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August’s literature night features a short story collection by Eun Hee-kyung, published last year by Dalkey Archive: Eun Hee-kyung: Beauty Looks Down on Me 29 August, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Friday 10th August. […]

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New books for the summer

by Philip Gowman 16 July 2018
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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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Kim Aeran’s visit to London

by Philip Gowman 15 July 2018
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At the end of June Kim Aeran was in town, courtesy of the Asia Literary Review and the Literary Translation institute of Korea, to meet the finalists of the 2018 essay contest in which readers were given free rein to write about one or all of three of her works: two short stories: A Dignified […]

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Book review: Pyun Hye-young – Evening Proposal

by Philip Gowman 9 July 2018
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Pyun Hye-young: Evening Proposal Translated by Youngsuk Park and Gloria Cosgrove Smith Originally published as 저녁의 구애, Moonji Publishing, 2011 After the somewhat gory content of Pyun’s story Corpses – published in the Waxen Wings anthology – in which a woman’s body parts keep appearing, it was with some nervousness that I started reading Pyun’s An […]

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July Literature Night: Kim Young-ha’s I Hear Your Voice

by Events Editor 1 July 2018
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You probably won’t find a better-translated Korean novel than this one, courtesy of Krys Lee: July Literature Night: Kim Young-ha’s I Hear Your Voice 25 July, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Thursday 12th July. […]

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Brief review: Jeong You-jeong – The Good Son

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2018
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Jeong You-jeong: The Good Son Translated by Kim Chi-young Little, Brown Book Group, 2018, 322pp Originally published as 종의 기원, Eunhaengnamu, 2016 A Good Son is one of the books being hailed as the new Scandi Noir, while Amazon is billing it as “The bestselling Korean thriller of the year” – though in a Korean genre that […]

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June Literature Night: A conversation with Kim Aeran

by Events Editor 8 June 2018
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June’s literature night is a special event: a discussion with Kim Aeran about the texts set for the recent essay contest, and the announcement of the winner. A discussion with author Kim Aeran Wednesday 27 June, 18:00-20:45 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 […]

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Book review: Shin Kyung-sook – The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness

by Philip Gowman 16 May 2018
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Shin Kyung-sook: The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness Translated by Jung Ha-yun Pegasus Book, New York, 2015, 369pp Originally published as 외딴방, Munhakdongne, 1995 When reading Ahn Jung-hyo’s White Badge, I found myself wondering why, despite what I thought was my general antipathy to novels with listless central characters who can’t seem to find their way […]

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May Literature Night: Hwang Sok-yong’s The Old Garden

by Events Editor 5 May 2018
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Continuing the KCC’s season of screen adaptations of Korean novels. May Literature Night: Hwang Sok-yong’s The Old Garden 30 May 2018, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Thursday 10th May. The booking system utilises a […]

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Book Review: Ahn Jung-hyo – White Badge

by Philip Gowman 20 April 2018
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Ahn Jung-hyo: White Badge Soho Press, NY, 1989, 337pp Originally published as 하얀전쟁, 1983 Translated by the author If I saw Jeong Ji-young’s White Badge (1992) when it screened in London eight years ago, I do not remember it. I cannot imagine having a similar lapse of memory concerning Ahn Jung-hyo’s Vietnam war novel on […]

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April Literature Night: Silver Stallion with Ahn Jung-hyo

by Events Editor 30 March 2018
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Ahn Jung-hyo is in town not just to talk about his novel Silver Stallion but also his Vietnam War novel White Badge, which will be screened at the KCC later in the week. We reviewed Silver Stallion ten years ago but that won’t stop us reading it again. Literature Night: Ahn Jung-hyo’s Silver Stallion 25 […]

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Book review: Yi Kwang-su — The Soil

by Philip Gowman 26 March 2018
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Yi Kwang-su: The Soil Translated by Hwang Sun-ae and Horace Jeffery Hodges Dalkey Archive, 2013, 512pp Originally published as 흙, 1932-3 Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil, at over 500 pages long, is not a book that immediately entices you to read it. But with a screening of Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of the novel coming up shortly […]

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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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