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 […]

Wasafiri, the international literary magazine, launches Korea-focused number

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 21 February 2019 – details to be confirmed. Wasafiri Issue 96, Winter 2018 Special Issue – Korea: Divisions and Borders […]

Jeong You-jeong in conversation at Foyles

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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. […]

New books for the summer

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 […]

Kim Aeran’s visit to London

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 […]

Book review: Pyun Hye-young – Evening Proposal

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 […]

Brief review: Jeong You-jeong – The Good Son

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 […]

June Literature Night: A conversation with Kim Aeran

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Book Review: Ahn Jung-hyo – White Badge

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 […]