KCCUK announces temporary closure to the public

Along with many other cultural venues, the KCCUK has announced its decision “to suspend or cancel our public programme, courses and events (music concerts, film screenings, literature and education programmes) effective immediately, until further notice”. They say that “[we] hope that we can resume our programme from Mid-April”. Let’s keep fingers crossed but I fear […]

A Festival of Korean Dance 2020

Here’s hoping that I’m not tempting fate by posting this press release. I really hope that the health emergency is over by the end of May. Keep your fingers crossed, because this festival gets better each year. As last year, there are three performances and one pre-performance discussion: Fri 29 May: Collective A | MIIN: […]

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 […]

March events 2020

It’s LKL’s 14th birthday today. What’s in store as we start our 15th year online? Thankfully it’s a bit of a quiet month, though there’s plenty of music going on, and look out for conferences at Wolfson College and the LSE. My own highlight to brighten up these miserable days is Igudesman and Joo at […]

Book review: Cheon Un-yeong — The Catcher in the Loft

Cheon Un-yeong: The Catcher in the Loft Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Codhill Press, 2019, 191pp Originally published as 생강, Changbi Publishers, 2011 This book came almost out of nowhere. Cheon Un-yeong’s Ali Skips Rope was one of the short stories in the excellent collection The Future of Silence – very approachable, but not […]

Parasite: a non-review

What can one say about a movie that has won Best Picture at Cannes and the Oscars, that has won best screenplay at the Oscars and BAFTAs, best edited drama feature at the Eddies, and best ensemble performance at the Screen Actors Guild? A movie that has been seen more widely in this country, and […]

Korea beyond the headlines: the 2020 LSESU Korea Future Forum

Claire Evans, a member of the LSE Student Union’s Korea Future Association, introduces this Saturday’s conference. The LSE Student Union’s Korea Future Association takes pride in being the largest student-run organisation in the world dedicated to discussion of Korean peninsula issues. Its annual conference, the Korea Future Forum, brings together leading experts from around the […]

Jeronimo Lim Kim – revolutionary father of the Korean community in Cuba

Those who have read Kim Young-ha’s Black Flower will know about the Koreans who migrated to Mexico in 1905 as farm labourers, just before Korea became a Japanese protectorate. By the time their contracts were up, Japan was about to absorb Korea into their growing empire. Now stateless, some of the migrants stayed in Mexico; […]

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 […]

Review: JM Lee – The Boy who Escaped Paradise

The Boy Who Escaped Paradise J.M. Lee, translated by Chi Young Kim Pegasus, 2016, 288pp Originally published as 천국의 소년, Seoul, 2013. A fifty-year-old North Korean is found shot to death in a flat in Queens, New York; beside him is a wounded man, the presumed killer. On the floor around the bodies are mysterious […]