July Literature Night: Kim Ji-young Born 1982

July’s literature night features one of the most talked-about books of recent years. If you’re thinking about entering the 2020 literature essay contest, this session might help. Nice that they’re bringing in In-sook Chappell to lead the discussion. LKL review here. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, by Cho Nam-Joo Wednesday 29 July 2020, 7pm on Zoom […]

The 2020 Korean Literature Essay Contest

I don’t think we’ve had an essay contest since 2017. It’s good to see it return, organised by UCLan for LTI Korea. The contest is open to readers in the UK. 2020 UCLan IKSU Book Essay Contest The International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is hosting the “2020 […]

Book review: Jeong You-jeong – Seven Years of Darkness

Jeong You-jeong: Seven Years of Darkness Translated by Kim Chi-young Penguin / Little, Brown 2020 Originally published as 7년의 밤, EunHaeng NaMu Publishing Co, Seoul 2011 It felt like a long wait. We’d seen the movie adaptation a few years ago (Choo Chang-min’s Seven Years of Night, which screened at the London Korean Film Festival […]

June literature night: DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi

The KCC’s literature nights resume in virtual form after a lockdown break. June’s book is selected for its relevance to the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi Thursday 25 June 2020, 7pm on Zoom Participation Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 […]

Mi-ae Seo: The Only Child

Seo Miae’s The Only Child is the latest thriller to come out of Korea, following on the heels of Jeong You-jeong’s Good Son and Kim Un-su’s The Plotters. Seo debuted in 1994 with the short story 30 Ways to Kill Your Husband and won the GrandPrize for Korean detective fiction with the Dolls Garden. She […]

Review: Kim Yideum – Blood Sisters

Kim Yideum: Blood Sisters Translated by Jiyoon Lee Deep Vellum, 2019, 202pp Originally published as 블러드 시스터즈 by Munhakdongne, 2011 I seem to be on a roll with translated fiction this year. Two disappointments (Marilyn and Me and Kim Jiyoung), but now seven that are highly recommendable. I picked this novel off the reading pile […]

Where to start in Korean literature – the skinny version

My somewhat meaty post on Monday was prompted by a request for recommendations from a new acquaintance who knew of my Korean interests. He initially asked for three recommendations, which I found completely impossible – hence Monday’s list of ten authors, with a favoured title by each, plus ten additional titles. But now, having thought […]

Book review: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Cho Nam-joo: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 Translated by Jamie Chang Scribner, 2020, 163pp Originally published as 82년생 김지영, Minumsa, 2016. Kim Jiyoung, as the blurb on the back cover of this translated novel tells us, is every woman. Her given name is unremarkable, familiar, and of course her family name is the most common in […]

Book review: Jeon Sungtae – Wolves

Jeon Sungtae: Wolves Translated by Sora Kim-Russell White Pine Press, 2017, 196pp Originally published as 늑대, Changbi Publishers, 2009 Jeon Sungtae’s Wolves takes us to another world – the world of Mongolia in the early years of this century, a decade after the adoption of capitalism. The country is modernising rapidly, but out on the […]

Review: Bae Suah — Untold Night and Day

Bae Suah: Untold Night and Day Translated by Deborah Smith Jonathan Cape 2020, 152pp Originally published as 알려지지 않은 밤과 하루, Jaeumgwa Moeum, 2013 Let me say up-front that I have never regarded myself as a Bae Suah fan. My first encounter with her – Highway with Green Apples – registers in my memory as […]

Book review: Marilyn and Me

Ji-min Lee: Marilyn and Me Translated by Chi-young Kim HarperCollins / 4th Estate 2019, 176pp Originally published as 나와마릴린, 2009 “Where did all the beautiful and hopeful young women go?” That was the thought that occurred to author Ji-Min Lee, looking back at the grim post-war years, and looking at a couple of photographs from […]