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 […]

Some non-fiction titles we can’t wait to read in 2020 [updated]

Outside of the wide range of upcoming literature and fiction titles, there’s plenty of non-fiction to look forward to as well. I’ve already highlighted three titles on Korean film which look worth exploring, and here’s the remainder of my 2020 reading longlist (which includes some titles from very late in 2019), split between (1) Books […]

February events 2020

We’re all keeping our fingers crossed for the two Korean movies with seven Oscar nominations between them. Be sure to buy your March copy of Sight & Sound (available from 3 Feb) guest-edited by man of the moment Bong Joon-ho. Music Unsuk Chin’s SPIRA – A Concerto for Orchestra – will be broadcast on Radio […]

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, […]

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 […]

Moon Jae-in’s 2020 New Year speech

Here is the text of President Moon Jae-in’s 2020 New Year Message, sourced from the Blue House website. Fellow Koreans, The New Year, the Year of the White Rat, has dawned. We rang out the significant past year that marked the centennial of the March First Independence Movement and the founding of the Provisional Republic […]

Upcoming literature and fiction titles in 2020 [updated]

I’m hoping that, as in previous years, by posting my own list of upcoming literature and fiction titles – pulled together by some targeted searching on Amazon and a trawl through Barbara J Zitwer’s website – I might persuade others to supplement it from their own specialist knowledge. Whatever happens, books inevitably fall through the […]

January events 2020

Thankfully, a reasonably quiet start to the New Year – and new decade. The KCC hasn’t yet announced its first season of film nights for the year – but in the past couple of years, if I recall right, those haven’t started until February anyway. But don’t miss their showcase of the Lady Hyegyong Uigwe. […]

Season’s greetings to all our readers

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all of LKL’s readers, friends and contributors. Have a peaceful break, and may 2020 turn out better than 2019. As in previous years, thanks are due to Jieun Kim aka The Drawing Hand for the London Korean Christmas design which adorns the cards that some of […]

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 […]