The Kim Aeran essay contest: so far, so good

I struggled with previous KLTI Essay Contests. With There a Petal Silently Falls, having read it three times, I still couldn’t find an angle into it, and although I wrote an essay it was a pretty uninspired offering. With Who Ate Up all the Shinga, I probably enjoyed the book more, but again couldn’t really connect […]

A look back at some of the books of 2017

This year, I haven’t even come close to keeping up with the volume of newly-published literature in translation, let alone the plethora of new non-fiction. Perhaps to balance my feelings of guilt at falling behind the pace of new publications, I’ve tried to make inroads into my guilt pile in respect of previous years – […]

Kim Ae-ran: The Essay Contest

UPDATE: Deadline now extended to 30 April 2018. It’s been ages since we last had an essay contest. If I remember right, we’ve had two that have been specifically targeted at UK-based readers: back in 2009 we had one based on Ch’oe Yun’s There a Petal Silently Falls, and then the following year we were […]

On reading Han Kang’s White Book by the pool

In general, I tend not to read much literary fiction. If I’m reading stuff which is unrelated to Korea, it’s likely to be either non-fiction or easy reading – a detective story or something reasonably lightweight. When it comes to Korea-related reading, until relatively recently the balance has again been in favour of non-fiction. But […]

Han Kang launches her White Book in London & Manchester

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, […]

Event news: Kim Kyung-ju poetry tour

Kim Kyung Ju will be visiting the UK this month with his translator, Jake Levine, to take part in the events below. Kim’s first work to be published in English is I am a Season That Does Not Exist in This World, published by Black Ocean last year. His two plays and another poetry collection […]

A Korea focus in this week’s TLS

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 […]

Book review: Waxen Wings

Waxen Wings: The ACTA Koreana Anthology of Short Fiction from Korea Edited by Bruce Fulton Koryo Press, 2011, 238pp There are plenty of anthologies of Korean translated fiction available, and many of them are edited and / or translated by Bruce Fulton, usually with Ju-Chan Fulton involved in the project too. I recently enjoyed the […]

Book review: Song Sokze — The Amusing Life

Song Sokze: The Amusing Life Translated by Se-un Kim Dalkey Archive, 2016, 233pp Originally published as 재미나는 인생, Kang Publishing Ltd, 1997 The most recent book to be discussed at the KCC’s monthly book club was Song Sokze’s The Amusing Life, a collection of around 50 short “stories”. None of these pieces will detain you […]

Event news: Poetry reading by Don Mee Choi

After this evening’s poetry reading in the Coronet Theatre’s wonderful Print Room in Notting Hill Gate, Don Mee Choi will be giving another reading at SOAS, tomorrow evening. She promises she will be wearing a special costume for the occasion, at which she will be reading from her 2016 work, Hardly War. Poetry reading by […]

Book review: Bandi — The Accusation

Bandi: The Accusation – Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea Translated by Deborah Smith Serpents Tail 2017, 245 pp Originally published as 고발, Chogabje.com, 2014. Mike Breen, in his book The New Koreans, describes han as “a kind of rage and helplessness that is sublimated and lingers like an inactive resentment” and is often evidenced in […]