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 […]

Brief book review: The Plotters

Kim Un-su: The Plotters Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Fourth Estate, 2019, 304 pp Originally published as 설계자들, Seoul 2010 I always find when embarking on a new book it pays to have neutral expectations. That way you won’t be disappointed. But sometimes it’s hard to filter out your own personal prejudices and the word of […]

Book review: When Adam Opens His Eyes

Jang Jung-il: When Adam Opens His Eyes Translated by Hwang Sun-ae and Horace Jeffery Hodges Dalkey Archive 2013, 126 pp Originally published as 아담이 눈뜰 때, Kimyeongsa, Seoul, 1990 Deleuze, Lacan, Bataille… if you’re reading a text that references any of those thinkers, you’re probably reading a rather turgid book on postcolonial or film studies, […]

Whose Comfort? – book launch at the KCC

Friday 21 February 2020, 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm Korean Cultural Centre UK | Grand Buildings | 1-3 Strand | London WC2N 5B Admission free | Register via Google Docs Join World Scientific Publishing at the Korean Cultural Centre UK to celebrate the launch of Whose Comfort? The issue of sexual violence against civilian ‘comfort […]

Recently published books on Korean film

Having done my list of upcoming fiction titles, I’ve been working on a similar list of upcoming non-fiction. But in compiling the non-fiction list I’ve identified several titles that slipped under the radar towards the end of last year. Three of them relate to film. No doubt, following all the buzz about Parasite, there will […]

February literature night: Marilyn and Me by Ji-Min Lee

The KCC’s literature nights kick off in 2020 with one of 2019’s under-the-radar publications. Ji-Min Lee: Marilyn and Me Wednesday 26 February 2020, 7pm @KCCUK Entrance Free – Booking Essential Apply to info@kccuk.org.uk or call 020 7004 2600 with your name and contact details by Monday 3 February, or register on the KCC website. The booking […]

Kim Un-su interviewed in Korea Times

Anna Jiwon Park has a good interview with Kim Un-su (author of The Plotters, among other things) in the Korea Times this week. It’s a nice leisurely two-page read for the Weekender section, clocking in at 3,000 words. Park has an engaging conversation with him, and makes an interesting observation: His books not only have […]

Brief book review: Suni Samchon

Hyun Ki-young: Suni Samchon Translated by Lee Jung-hi Asia Publishers Bilingual Edition, 2012, 186pp Jeju Island, in Korean literature of the late 70s and 80s, is not the honeymoon destination of more recent years. It was a place of poverty, of bitter memories – a place to escape from rather than a destination to visit […]

Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword, at the National Poetry Library

National Poetry Library | Level 5, Blue side | Royal Festival Hall 5 December 2019 – 29 March 2020 | Admission free Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword commemorates the 30th anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s death. The exhibition features an installation, Twenty Times a Thousand (2019), in response to Beckett’s poem ‘Echo’s Bones’ (1935). The work comprises over […]

Brief review: Kim Sagwa – Mina

Kim Sagwa: Mina Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Two Lines Press, 2018, 237pp Originally published as 미나, Changbi Publishers, 2008. Hell Joseon has become an increasingly familiar context for contemporary Korean literature. But the novels and stories I can think of all focus on the struggles of the poor or those who are just […]