Review: Pyun Hye-young – The Law of Lines

Life was much deeper than he could ever imagine. It was impossible to tell just how far you could sink1 Two apparent suicides in different parts of the country kick-start two separate story-lines which turn out to be interlinked. Se-oh is the daughter of one of the deceased – a man who had fallen into […]

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 […]

Book review: Hwang Sok-yong – At Dusk

Hwang Sok-yong: At Dusk Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Scribe, 2018, 188pp Originally published as 해질 무렵, Munhakdongne, 2015 What a relief it is when a novel is both thought-provoking and a pleasure to read. Hwang Sok-yong’s At Dusk made me look forward to my daily commute (pretty much the only time I get to read). […]

SOAS evening seminar: Youngmi Kim – Piketty in Hell Joseon

Piketty in Hell Joseon: Inequality, Polarization and Social Contention in a Neo-liberal Age Dr Youngmi Kim (University of Edinburgh) Friday 16 November 2018, 5:15 PM – 7:00 PM Venue: Brunei Gallery Room B211 Abstract Hell Joseon is a pejorative term commonly used to compare Korea’s unequal society, somewhat simplistically divided into Kap (甲) and Eul […]

Book review: Hwang Jungeun — One Hundred Shadows

Hwang Jungeun: One Hundred Shadows Translated by Jung Yewon Tilted Axis Press, 2016, 147pp Original published as 百의 그림자, Minumsa, 2010 The 2009 Yongsan apartment building disaster barely registered in the news media outside of Korea. But in its way it registered domestically much as the Sewol disaster did, acting as a rallying point against an […]

Book review: Cheon Myeong-kwan — Modern Family

Cheon Myeong-kwan: Modern Family Translated by Kyoung-lee Park White Pine Press Korean Voices Series, 2015 Originally published as 고령화 가족 by Munhakdongne Publishing Corp, 2010 The KCC has been running its Korean Literature Nights for more than two years now. The discussion group has an enthusiastic and regular following, to the extent that seats have […]