Literature and poetry in translation titles for 2021: more than a dozen to look forward to!

This is now LKL’s fifth annual post that looks at the literature and fiction titles we’re looking forward to over the coming twelve months. Since last year we’ve made things easier for ourselves by investing some time building a book database that aims to catalogue all physical publications of Korean literature in translation, as well […]

Interview with Bora Chung in Korea Times

There’s a nice interview with writer Bora Chung in yesterday’s Korea Times. Coming later this year from Honford Star is her short story collection Cursed Bunny, translated by Anton Hur. According to the article, Many of her recent works can be defined as a gripping amalgamation of absurdist, unrealistic stories that draw on science fiction, […]

A look back at our 2020 reading diary

Like many readers, we started the year with good intention of blitzing through the pile of new titles that were promised for the coming months, as well as making inroads into the backlog. And we genuinely got off to a good start with a string of fun K-thrillers, some of them new, some not: The […]

SOAS online seminar: One Left, by Kim Soom

It’s been a while since we last had a SOAS Friday evening seminar, but this should be worth the wait. One Left: A powerful tale of trauma and endurance that transformed a nation’s understanding of Korean comfort women Bruce Fulton and Ju-Chan Fulton (Translators) Friday 4 December 2020, 5 – 7pm Online. Register via Zoom […]

Review: City of Ash and Red

City of Ash and Red is a novel for 2020, even though it was originally published in 2010. Inspired no doubt in part by the SARS outbreak of 2002-3, Pyun Hye-young imagines a world where a virus has the potential to shut down whole countries, in which visitors are tested for infection on arrival at […]

Review: Na Man’gap – the Diary of 1636

Na Man’gap’s Diary of 1636, as George Kallander explains in his informative introduction, is the longest known private account of the second Manchu invasion of Korea. Na (1592 – 1642) was a senior scholar-official who was with the King and court inside Namhansanseong – he was in charge of military rations – throughout the siege […]

Unexpected Vanilla: Poetry Reading with Poet Lee Hyemi and translator Soje

November’s literature event celebrates a recent publication of poetry by Lee Hyemi from Tilted Axis, translated by Smoking Tiger Soje. Unexpected Vanilla Poetry Reading with Poet Lee Hyemi and translator Soje Wednesday 25th November 12noon-1:30pm (UK time) Zoom videoconference. Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk with your name and contact details by 4th […]

Buckwheat tops the translation league table

As I’ve been logging the various publications during the construction of LKL’s K-lit hub, I’ve been keeping an eye on those stories which appear most often in English translation, whether in an anthology or a standalone publication. Charles Montgomery has always said that When the Buckwheat Blooms is the most published story, and I’ve yet […]

Announcing LKL’s new K-Lit Hub

I haven’t been posting much on LKL recently. That’s not because nothing’s been going on. On the contrary, there’s been plenty of exhibitions to review, online film festivals to attend, and some real-world foodie events to enjoy. In fact, I have a longer than ever writing backlog, which I shall do my best to backfill. So […]

Literary talk with author Yun Ko-eun and translator Lizzie Buehler

The KCC seems to be getting into a nice rhythm of mid-day talks featuring Korean authors and their recent translations. This month, Yun Ko-eun’s Disaster Tourist (밤의 여행자들, 2013. LKL review here). The Disaster Tourist Wednesday 21st October 12noon-1:30pm Venue: ZOOM (Online) Entrance Free – Booking Essential. Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk with your name and contact […]

Literary talk with translator Sora Kim-Russell

The KCC’s September literature night is a special event: a Zoom conversation with translator Sora Kim-Russell, focusing on her latest translation to make it into print here, Pyun Hye-young’s The Law of Lines (LKL review here). To make the conversation worthwhile, the KCC expects us all to have read the book in advance. It is […]

Brief review: Kim Sagwa – b, Book, and Me

To answer the obvious question that you’re going to be asked when trying to order this item at your local bookstore, “b” and “Book” are the names of two characters in the novel. We’re not told about how b came by her name, but Book is so called because he spends all his time reading, primarily […]

Book review: Paek Nam Nyong – Friend

When faced with a translation of a book written by a North Korean, based on past experiences you might expect material that’s hostile to the regime. Texts that have been rendered into English tend to be either defector testimonies or an occasional collection of short stories or poems by a dissident writer that have apparently […]

August Literature Night: Seven Years of Darkness

The KCC’s Zoom literature night in August features the hottest thriller of the year. You can read LKL’s review of it here. The normal lottery-based system applies. Seven Years of Darkness by Jeong You-jeong Wednesday 26 August 2020, 7pm RSVP via the KCC’s website by 9 August. About the book A young girl is found […]